Eating disorders are complex psychological illnesses which are occasionally fatal. The number of children and young people (both male and female) being treated for eating disorders is on the rise and the provision of eating disorder services for these young people is poor and not adequately resourced.
At the time of writing this piece, the South West (not counting the psychiatric units) has fewer than 10 units offering services to young people with eating disorders. Needless to say, the provision of services in the South West is dire.
Research has shown that there is no dedicated eating disorder for young people (under the age of 16) from Exeter down to the tip of Cornwall.
In Plymouth and the surrounding areas, young people in need of in-patient treatment for eating disorders are admitted to a young person’s psychiatric hospital.
In Devon, the CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) provision is fragmented. Plus, there are very few support services for young people who have managed to recover from an eating disorder.
NotEDuk wants to see the development of a dedicated eating disorder unit to serve the young people of Plymouth and the South West peninsula, with appropriately trained staff, offering appropriate therapies and support services pertinent to the needs of the individual.
The petition can be signed at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/13435