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Millions of pounds to treat young people with eating disorders diverted elsewhere


Just 10% of money allocated to help treat young people with eating disorders reached the NHS frontline, a new analysis has revealed.

The latest data on NHS mental health spending comes amid concern the pandemic has exacerbated eating disorders in young people, sparking a rise in demand.

A report commissioned by MPs compiled by the eating disorder charity Beat, using NHS data, shows local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), who purchase NHS services on behalf of NHS England, spent just £1.1m of the £11m they were given for community eating disorder services in 2019-20.

The money was set aside by NHS England to try and tackle increasing referrals and to ensure young people could get treatment. 

Wera Hobhouse MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eating Disorders, and which commissioned the work said: “Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses, and we know that early intervention and access to specialist treatment saves lives."

“NHS England has continued to allocate extra funding to clinical commissioning groups for children and young people’s community eating disorder services, but this report shows that much more needs to be done to ensure this money reaches the frontline services, particularly now as they face unprecedented numbers of referrals.”

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Source: The Independent, 11 May 2021

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