Eating Disorders

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 4 July 2023.

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Photo of Lord Weir of Ballyholme Lord Weir of Ballyholme DUP

To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to apply additional resources to combat the increasing problem of eating disorders.

Photo of Lord Weir of Ballyholme Lord Weir of Ballyholme DUP

To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to implement new strategies or projects to combat the problem of eating disorders.

Photo of Lord Weir of Ballyholme Lord Weir of Ballyholme DUP

To ask His Majesty's Government what specific strategies or initiatives are being targeted at supporting teenagers with eating disorders.

Photo of Lord Markham Lord Markham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Under the NHS Long Term Plan, we will invest almost £1 billion extra in community mental health care for adults with severe mental illness by 2023/24. This will give 370,000 adults with severe mental illnesses, including eating disorders, greater choice and control over their care and support them to live well in their communities. As part of this we are expanding community eating disorder services capacity, including crisis care and intensive home treatment.

Since 2016, investment in children and young people's community eating disorder services has risen every year, with an extra £54 million per year from 2022/23. This extra funding will enhance the capacity of community eating disorder teams across the country.

The long-term aim set out within the NHS Long-Term Plan is to improve community support for serious mental illnesses, such as eating disorders, to avoid the need for an inpatient admission where possible.

NHS England is refreshing guidance on children and young people's eating disorders, including to increase the focus on early identification and intervention. Updated guidance will highlight the importance of improved integration between dedicated community eating disorder services, wider children and young people's mental health services, schools, colleges and primary care to improve awareness, provide expert advice and improve support for children and young people presenting with problems with eating, whilst ensuring swift access to specialist support as soon as an eating disorder is suspected.

Investment in Community Eating Disorder teams for children and young people will support prevention, early identification and intervention, offering swift access to treatment.

To accelerate the provision of early intervention eating disorder services for young adults, in 2019/20 NHS England funded 18 sites to implement “First Episode Rapid Early intervention for Eating Disorders” model for 16–25-year-olds. The model is now being adopted more widely.

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