National guidelines for the assessment and treatment of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and body dysmorphic disorder were published in 2005 by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Local services are unable to treat a small but significant number of the most severely ill patients successfully, and the guidelines recommend that such patients should have access to highly specialised care. From 1 April 2007, the Department of Health decided to centrally fund treatment services for severe, chronic, refractory OCD and BDD. We describe a new National Service for Refractory OCD; its rationale, treatments offered, referral criteria and expected clinical outcomes.
Initial results from one centre show an average 42% reduction in OCD symptoms at the end of treatment.
The operational challenges and potential generalisability of this model of healthcare delivery are discussed. We present a summary of the progress made so far in establishing a new, coherent National Service for Refractory OCD, 18 months after the NICE guideline was published. the aim of the paper is to educate clinicians about the service and describe its rationale, treatments offered, referral criteria and expected clinical outcomes.
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