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Eating disorder services must not be kicked further down the road - Mark Ward TD

3 March, 2021 - by Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward TD has again raised concerns regarding the lack of public inpatient treatment for adults presenting with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

Teachta Ward is raising this issue again after a report by CARED (Caring About Recovery from Eating Disorders) showed a lack of proper treatment for people with eating disorders is leaving sufferers misunderstood, abandoned, isolated and lost.

The report was compiled to coincide with Eating Disorder Awareness Week this week.

Speaking today, Teachta Ward said:

“There are currently just three impatient beds for adults in the state for people suffering from eating disorders and these three beds are only available to those in the catchment area of CHO area 6. 

"In other parts of the HSE, adult patients are currently admitted to local general adult mental health units.

“I have spoken with families recently who feel that their loved ones do not get the specialist treatment required when admitted to generic mental health hospitals.

“What often happens is  that the patient gets referred to a generic adult mental health unit and kept in until their body mass index is increased. I have reports that they are then discharged back to the community without any specialist help.

“The report I received today from CARED (Caring About Recovery from Eating Disorders) gives a real insight into the lack of services available for people presenting with Eating Disorders.

“The report states that The National Clinical Programme for Eating Disorders published by the HSE in 2018 committed to putting in place 16 specialist hubs nationwide over five years offering specialist multidisciplinary teams of clinicians. 

"However, it has failed to meet this commitment, issuing a statement last month to confirm these will be delayed by almost 4 years, with completion expected by 2025.

“Thousands of families across Ireland continue to suffer under the huge strain and distress of managing this life-threatening condition to be met with wholly inadequate treatment and support.

“I have sent the report directly to the Minister and urged that the provision of Eating Disorder services are not kicked further down  the road once under this government."

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