Adult Eating Disorders

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th July 2018.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South 12:00 am, 24th July 2018

What steps he is taking to improve access to NHS adult eating disorder services.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Government are committed to improving eating disorder services for adults. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has updated its guidelines, and NHS England recently completed a national review of provision and is considering next steps. We will also be ensuring that people remain properly served as they transfer between children’s and adults’ services.

Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

Two thirds of adults wait more than four weeks and one third wait 11 weeks for treatment. What are the Government going to do about it, in the light of the review that the Minister has just mentioned?

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

As I have said, NICE has published its new clinical guideline on the recognition and treatment of eating disorders in people over the age of eight, including adults, and we will make clear to NHS organisations what we expect of them. We are ensuring that we meet the waiting times for eating disorder treatment, and we are delivering against those standards.

Photo of Paula Sherriff Paula Sherriff Shadow Minister (Mental Health and Social Care), Shadow Minister (Mental Health)

Data from NHS Digital show that the number of beds for people with serious mental health conditions, such as eating disorders, has fallen by nearly 30% since 2009. The Government say that they are committed to ensuring that everyone with an eating disorder has access to timely treatment, but according to Dr Poulter—who I believe is also an NHS doctor—there is often a long wait for patients with eating disorders who need beds for urgent in-patient care. Does the Minister agree with him?

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The hon. Lady’s starting point was “since 2009”. It is certainly true that there was a decline then, for a number of reasons, not least the fact that we are improving treatment in community settings rather than acute in-patient beds. Our Five Year Forward View began in 2014, and we have been delivering improvements in the number of beds and staff since that date.