Eating disorder patients in Norfolk set for improved treatment

There will be more support for young people in West Norfolk with eating disorders as a result of a f

There will be more support for young people in West Norfolk with eating disorders as a result of a funding grant from NHS England. Picture: Time to change (posed by models) - Credit: Time to change/Newscast Online

Young mental health patients in west Norfolk have been given a boost after the region's mental health trust expanded its eating disorder service.

New staff have been recruited to Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust's (NSFT) eating disorder service at Thurlow House, King's Lynn, after a £100,000 funding grant from NHS England.

Lydia Goodrum, clinical nurse specialist for eating disorders with NSFT, said: 'We are delighted that we have been able to expand the service we provide, as it means we will be able to help even more young people and their families.'

The expansion will help young people with illnesses such as anorexia and bulimia.

It means the trust's team will be able to reach more people at an earlier stage of the illness before the patients' problems become too great.

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Prevention work will also be done in schools and colleges.

Ms Goodrum added: 'When we receive a referral, we carry out a full assessment before putting together a tailored care plan which will meet their individual needs.

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'We have designed the service to be as flexible as possible, and can offer support in people's own homes, schools or colleges, or at our clinic.'

The team, which includes a mental health practitioner and family therapist, offers a wide variety of help including nutritional therapy, psychological therapy, family therapy and help with the social aspects linked with the illness.

It will also work closely with GPs and other NSFT specialists, while also providing meal support in patients' homes, colleges or schools.

A support group for parents and carers is in the process of being introduced. 'It's vital to reach people as early as possible, as it means they can get better so much sooner,' Ms Goodrum said.

'To help us do this, we will also be carrying out a lot of work to raise awareness of the care we provide, as well as the warning signs people should be looking out for.'

The service caters for people up to the age of 18 who live in west Norfolk.

It takes referrals from GPs and other health professionals, such as school nurses, while any parents who have concerns about their child can contact the team direct on 01553 736011.

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