Hospital admissions for people with eating disorders are on the rise in Dacorum
and live on Freeview channel 276
There were more hospital admissions for people in Dacorum with eating disorders last year, new figures show.
Eating disorder charity Beat said early access to treatment is crucial but many of those seeking NHS treatment experience very long waiting times or are turned away.
NHS figures show there were around 95 finished hospital admissions with a diagnosis of an eating disorder, for people living in Dacorum, in the year to March 2023 – including 15 under 18-year-olds.
It was up from 90 hospital admissions in 2021-22 and 40 before the pandemic in 2019-20.
The figures are rounded to the nearest five.
Across England, there were nearly 28,400 hospital admissions with a primary or secondary diagnosis of an eating disorder in the year to March 2023, down slightly from 29,000 the year before.
However, it marked a 35 per cent increase compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Of the hospital admissions last year, nearly a quarter were children.
Beat spokesman Tom Quinn said: "It is very worrying that hospital admissions for people with an eating disorder continue to far exceed those seen before the pandemic and that, in the year to March 2023, the number was only slightly lower than the record level seen in the previous year.
"Early access to evidence-based treatment in the community is crucial to prevent the need for more intensive and costly treatment in hospital.”
He added many patients faced long waiting times, or even turned away.
The data also shows provisional figures for the current year, with 11,750 hospital admissions recorded between April and August.
So far in Dacorum, there have been some 40 admissions for eating disorders in 2023-24.
Mr Quinn said healthcare staff are doing all they can but the Government is ‘failing to give these services the support they need’.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "We’re improving eating disorder and mental health services, investing almost £1 billion in community mental health care for adults with severe mental illness - including eating disorders - by 2024.
"Capacity at children and young people’s community eating disorder services is also being increased across the country thanks to an additional £54 million government investment."