‘We need more, not less’ - New eating disorder service launches in Norfolk
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A private eating disorder service has launched to boost choice to those living with eating disorders.
Health professionals Sarah Drake, Julie Field and Lisa Taylor-Roberts have launched Eating Disorders Support, taking their knowledge working with patients with eating disorders to try and combat waiting times.
Mrs Drake, from Norwich, praised the work of eating disorder services in Norfolk and Waveney as well as charities BEAT and Eating Matters and said more services were needed not less.
She said there was strict protocol for NHS services on who is severe enough to receive treatment which could impact on someone’s behaviour being entrenched as they wait for treatment.
Mrs Drake said: “We want to compliment what is already about there. As a locality we are quite luckier than some localities that have nothing specialised. What we want to do if someone wants to get treatment but their on a waiting list they use us until they can get treatment, and then they might not need it.
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“We are not replacing NHS treatments in anyway. We see we will be encouraging them to get medical support from their GP. With Eating Disorder there’s large waiting lists.”
Factors taken into consideration for adult and children’s services include body mass index and trajectory of weight change.
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Recent NHS figures for children and young people with an eating disorder showed 73.3pc of urgent cases were seen in under a week in Norfolk and Waveney.
Norfolk and Waveney services are provided by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust through the Norfolk Community Eating Disorder Service (NCEDS).
NSFT saw 37,8pc of urgent cases within seven days, with the majority seen within one to four weeks. For the number of patients starting treatment by week since referral, 83pc were seen within four weeks.
As part of its service, Eating Disorders Support takes self referrals, with two members of the team then setting up a two hour meeting to discuss their needs.
Mrs Drake said: “That’s what we want to do we not looking to replace current services, we need more services, not less.”
The standard is that by 2020/21 95pc of people requiring urgent support commences a NICE recommended package of care within one week of referral.
Dr Ardyn Ross, mental health clinical lead at NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “It’s so important that people access support early on and do not struggle alone with this. We continue to work closely with our partners to ensure people get the right treatment, help and advice they need and are investing in existing services to increase capacity and provide earlier access to services.
Stuart Richardson, Chief operating officer at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said the pandemic has put a strain on many young people, including those with an eating disorder.
He said: “We have seen an increase in the number of referrals to our eating disorder service and have been seeing as many people as possible remotely.”