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.
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.
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?
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.