Eating Disorders

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 18th March 2019.

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Photo of Paul Farrelly Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to ensure that on medicine courses the effect of eating disorders on mental health is given parity of esteem with their effect on physical health; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Undergraduate medical schools determine the content of their own curricula but are required to integrate the General Medical Council’s ‘Outcomes for Graduates’. These Outcomes include the knowledge, skills and behaviour that graduates must be able to demonstrate before gaining a licence to practise medicine.

The Outcomes were updated in 2018, with the integration of mental and social health care and caring for people with multiple morbidities, including mental health conditions, being key drivers for the update.

The new Outcomes specify that newly qualified doctors must explain and illustrate by professional experience the principles for the identification, safe management and referral of patients with mental health conditions. They must also take action in response to factors suggesting patient vulnerability, including assessing the needs of, and support required, for people with mental health conditions. Newly qualified doctors must be able to explain the relationship between psychological and medical conditions and how psychological factors impact on risk and treatment outcome. Finally the Outcomes take into account multi-professional working, noting that newly qualified doctors must work effectively within a multi-professional and multi-disciplinary team and across multiple care settings.

Medical schools have to design their curricula and assessments in order for their students to be able to meet all of the Outcomes by the time they complete their course. Schools have until summer 2020 to make sure their curriculum meets the new outcomes.

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