EATING DISORDERS: Help is at hand for anorexics, bulimics and binge eaters

editorial image

A new community eating disorder service launched this month after a cash injection of just under £500,000 into children’s services in North Lincolnshire, Rotherham and Doncaster.

The service, run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), will have bases in three towns.

In Scunthorpe it will be based at St Nicholas House, Shelford Street.

The Community Eating Disorder Service (CEDS) offers support to children and young people up to the age of 19 who are experiencing moderate to severe eating disorders. Support is also offered to their families.

The team, made up of a range of health professionals including specialist nurses, a dietician, and psychiatrists, will also work closely with GPs, schools and dedicated school nurses, other professionals and the South Yorkshire Eating Disorder Association (SYEDA).

The team are expecting to see around 100 cases per year across the three areas of North Lincolnshire, Doncaster and Rotherham.

Eating disorders include bulimia, binge eating and anorexia.

Katie Simpson, RDaSH project manager for the service, said: “Our specialist team, some full time and others part time, which are equivalent to just over 11 full time workers, will provide a package of care to the young people and their families based on the young person’s needs.

“We are also working in partnership with SYEDA who will deliver education and awareness raising sessions for young people, their parents and professionals,” she added.

For anyone wanting more information about the service or to discuss any concerns about a young person please call the North Lincolnshire team on North Lincolnshire on 01724 408460.

CASE STUDY

When North Lincolnshire teenager Sophie was studying for her AS levels besides revising she also started calorie counting and it wasn’t long before she was diagnosed with anorexia.

It is believed the stress of revising could have started her year-long battle with the condition – but 16 months on and the 18-year-old exam star is winning her weight battle and has started studying psychology at university after gaining excellent A level grades last year.

Proud mum Lynn is now thanking staff who work at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in the town – known for short as CAMHS – which is run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), who supported the family through the ordeal.

Lynn explained: “Sophie put herself under constant pressure because she wanted to get good grades. It wasn’t long before she started calorie counting – eating far less than she should – and the weight dropped off of her.

“Sophie was always easy to get on with and high spirited but anorexia changed her, she became devious around food and angry, slamming doors – it turned her into a different person.

“She also would swing into severe depression.”

But thanks to support from her family, RDaSH’s CAMHS staff and college, she started to turn her life back around and to steadily gain weight.

Lynn added: “As soon as she started to increase in weight she became a new person and it became easier to get her to eat.”

Sophie, who reduced to 45 kilograms, is now a much healthier 59 kgs and is working to put on more weight.

Lynn added: “At the lowest point we didn’t think Sophie would manage to sit her A levels, she became very withdrawn and everything was too much for her. She’s turned a corner and is now really enjoying University life, balancing study with making friends, having fun and eating.”

When Sophie identified the university she wanted to study at the Scunthorpe team linked in with the university and the local health service to make sure help was in place for Sophie to support her continued recovery. Over the Christmas break Sophie called in to see the Scunthorpe team to thank them and let them know how well she is doing and how much she is enjoying university.

Lynn added: “I want to thank everyone involved in helping Sophie to get better. It’s been a tough journey – but we’re so proud of her gaining excellent A level grades, going to university and for her continued recovery from anorexia.”

Sue Wilkinson, the family therapist for the Community Eating Disorder Service at RDaSH, who supported Sophie, said: “Lynn, Sophie and the family have worked very hard to battle against the difficulties that come with anorexia and it has been a privilege to work alongside them to support Sophie’s journey towards recovery.

“All of the staff from the eating disorders service here at CAMHS are very proud of Sophie’s achievements.”

* Eating disorders: Anorexia is an emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat.

Bulimia is an eating disorder characterised by binge eating followed by purging.

Binge eating is a pattern of disordered eating which consists of episodes of uncontrollable eating.