It has been nationally recognised that patients with eating disorders get better care and treatment in specialist services, and in Somerset we separated our eating disorder service from our child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) over two years ago.
The team consists of health professionals, including psychiatrists, paediatrics, psychologists, dietitians, family therapists and nurses, and also support workers who work with people in the community.
The service is very responsive, and once a young person is referred they are seen within four weeks. For urgent cases this is prioritised to one week, and for emergency cases it can be on the same day.
The focus for the service is keeping young people and their families together, and for the first time there are currently no young people in specialist eating disorder inpatient units outside of Somerset.
To round up Mental Health Awareness Week, Dr Sarah Ensoll – Clinical Lead for the service – explains how the team work closely with young people and their families, and the successes they’ve had since the service became specialist.