Youngsters with eating disorders set to benefit from appointments of new mental health specialists

Mental Health. Pictured: Two women hold hands. Picture: Time to change/Newscast Online

Mental Health. Pictured: Two women hold hands. Picture: Time to change/Newscast Online - Credit: Time to change/Newscast Online

Nine new specialists have been appointed to Norfolk and Waveney in a bid to improve the treatment of children and young people with eating disorders.

The practitioners are spread across the county, with four in cental Norfolk, two in west Norfolk, while posts in Great Yarmouth and Waveney have also been filled.

It comes amid an increase of referrals of youngsters with eating disorders to Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, with 100 new patients being treated during 2015/16 in central Norfolk alone.

Attracting the staff was made possible by a £700,000 investment from the region's five clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Dr Kiran Chitale, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist at NSFT, said: 'Our young people live in a world where there is so much controversy about food that they are unable to appreciate the value of adequate nutrition in their lives.


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'It is about finding the right balance between healthy behaviours around good nutrition, acknowledging the link between food and mood, fostering a healthy lifestyle and developing positive resilience through building self-esteem.

'This seems to be a universal challenge that we must tackle together, and we are delighted that this additional investment by Norfolk's CCGs will enable our trust to provide much needed additional support to young people in the county.'

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It is hoped the specialists will ensure faster and better treatment for the estimated 600 children and young people who need clinical help in Norfolk and Waveney, compared with 460 in 2012.

The aim is for 80pc of these patients to be seen by a specialist or support worker within eight weeks of being referred to the trust. The national standard is 18 weeks.

Last year a £1.9m investment to transform child and adolescent mental health services in Norfolk and Waveney was announced, spearheaded by the CCGs, Norfolk County Council, and charities.

The CCGs and NSFT hope to recruit at least five more specialists by summer.

Have you got a mental health story? Email health correspondent Nicholas Carding at nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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