Referrals for treatment for eating disorders in Hertfordshire doubles

The scale of the pressure was revealed in a written report presented to a joint meeting of East and North Herts, Herts Valleys and West Essex CCGs

By Deborah Price, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 10:31 am

The number of children and young people being referred for support for eating disorders across Hertfordshire has more than DOUBLED, according to a new report.

And this is now reported to be the “most significant pressure” on the child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) system.

The scale of the pressure was revealed in a written report presented to a joint meeting of East and North Herts, Herts Valleys and West Essex Clinical Commissioning Groups on Thursday, November 25.

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Dr Rachel Joyce – director of clinical and professional services for the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System

It reported that the number of referrals to the community eating disorder team – run by the Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust (HPFT) – had seen a rise of 112 per cent.

At the end of September, it reported that there were 128 children and young people who were waiting for assessment by the team – with those at greater risk being prioritised.

And, it says, there were a ‘high number’ of children and young people waiting for specialist beds.

Following the meeting, Dr Rachel Joyce – director of clinical and professional services for the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System – pointed to additional steps that were being taken.

And she highlighted extra training for hospital staff and the development of an eating disorders home treatment and outreach team.

“There has been a national rise in referrals for eating disorder support,” she said.

“Locally, additional funding has been agreed to help meet this demand.

“There is work to develop an eating disorders home treatment and outreach team, and recruitment for this team is ongoing.

“Voluntary and community organisations have also been commissioned to provide additional support for children and young people who are waiting for treatment including resources for families and carers.

“Extra training is also being delivered to help hospital staff to care for children and young people with eating disorders.”