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Just three dedicated beds for people suffering from eating disorders in the state - Mark Ward TD

21 January, 2021 - by Mark Ward TD

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

Teachta Ward raised this issue directly with the Tánaiste today following a response he received from a parliamentary question, which stated that there are just three specialist inpatient eating disorders beds across the state.

Speaking today, Teachta Ward said:

“I was contacted recently by the family of a young woman who has been battling with an eating disorder. She disclosed to me that she needs specialist treatment for an eating disorder.

“What has happened in the past is that the young woman gets referred to a generic adult mental health unit. She is kept in until her body mass index is increased. She is then discharged back to the community without any specialist help.

“This pattern has repeated itself numerous times. This is not a unique case and is an indication of systemic failures in this area of health treatment.

“A response I received from a parliamentary question I submitted was shocking.

“It stated that there are currently just three impatient beds for adults in the state for people suffering from eating disorders.

"To compel this dearth of services, 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 raised this issue directly with the Tánaiste today and have asked the Minister for Health to immediately put in place the long-awaited government plan to have eight adult eating disorder teams across the state in line with Model of Care for Eating Disorders.

“Three dedicated inpatient eating disorder beds across the state is a pathetic response to such a serious problem."

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