Eating Disorders: Health Services

Department of Health written question – answered on 2nd November 2015.

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

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department has taken to prepare for the introduction of the waiting time standards for eating disorder services by 2020.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Minister of State, Department of Health

NHS England and the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health published on 3 August 2015, a commissioning guide for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that will set out how to implement the access and waiting time standard for children and young people with an eating disorder.

The standard is for treatment to be received within a maximum of four weeks from first contact with a designated healthcare professional for routine cases and within one week for urgent cases. In cases of emergency, the eating disorder service should be contacted to provide support within 24 hours.

The guidance is supported by £30 million of recurrent funding, which NHS England has already distributed to CCGs.

The ability of services to meet this standard will be monitored in 2016. The standard will be refined for implementation from 2017–18. From 2017, NHS England will set a minimum proportion of young people referred for assessment or treatment that are expected to receive treatment within the standard’s timeframe. Data collected in 2016 will help inform incremental percentage increases, with the aim of 95% of patients being treated within the standard’s timescale by 2020.

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