Eating disorders are a growing cause for concern – especially as they are costing the NHS around £200m a year – but according to Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, more funding is needed to provide appropriate care.
From 2012 to 2013, the total number of hospital admissions for eating disorders in England was 2,560 – an 8% rise on the previous year.
Unfortunately however, the NHS is struggling to deal with this increasing demand.
Just last month the Health Select Committee admitted that in many parts of the country child and adolescent mental health services, in particular, are failing.
There have been several cases where teenagers are being treated on adult wards, and even held temporarily in police cells due to lack of beds. Some have even been sent hundreds of miles from home to receive care.
Furthermore, one in five of those admitted to hospital for an eating disorder were discharged on the same day, while one in 17 stayed in hospital for longer than six months.
In this years’ Autumn Statement, Nick Clegg made it clear that for these services to improve, an extra £150 million needs to be provided.
He also mentioned that the focus needs to shift from expensive institutional care to more targeted community-based provision.
In response to his pledge, Sarah Brennan, chief executive of Young Minds, said: “It is great news indeed to hear that areas of support for children and young people’s mental health will receive additional, desperately needed, resources.
“Too often children and young people’s services are overlooked in preference for adult services. Young people make up 20% of the population, yet receive a fraction of the resources available with the terrible consequences we hear about daily in the news.”