Eating Disorders

Department of Health written question – answered on 23rd January 2015.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Shadow Minister (Public Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he takes to ensure that all patients assessed as requiring inpatient treatment for eating disorders are admitted; and what criteria are used to decide whether a patient requires inpatient treatment for such disorders.

Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Shadow Minister (Public Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether NHS England (a) currently and (b) since the establishment of that body has operated a moratorium on the commissioning of additional funded beds for inpatient eating disorder treatment.

Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb The Minister of State, Department of Health

There has been no moratorium on commissioning. NHS England is unable to generally introduce ‘new’ permanent provision without going through a fair and transparent process letting all organisations who wish to provide that service respond to the transparent process. Before introducing any permanent changes in service provision of this kind, all commissioners of care undergo a fair and transparent process open to all potential providers of care. This is fair to those who provide services, and to ensure National Health Service patients are served by the most capable provider who meets the requisite standards of quality for patients and provide value for taxpayers in line with statutory requirements on all commissioners overseen by the healthcare regulator.

NHS England is able to contract additional beds to meet any emergency need for services that they are responsible for commissioning (in line with Monitor’s expectations). Some contracts are flexible, allowing expansion when the need arises. Information on such “flexed” additional beds is not held centrally.

As far as the provision of inpatient treatment is concerned, the assessment process leads to a clinical decision set against the national specification to ensure that those who are within the criteria are admitted if appropriate and that no viable alternative is available to maintain independent living, such as outreach or day services. It is a clinical decision in all cases to admit and to ensure that a care pathway that meets the assessed needs of the individual is followed.

The NHS England Service Specification and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines can be found here:

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