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NHS eating disorder services forced to ‘exclude’ patients and ‘ration care’

Patients are being excluded from life-saving eating disorder treatment as services are severely underfunded, experts have warned.

Adult eating disorder services are so severely underfunded and understaffed that they are having to employ rationing measures and turn away patients, leading psychiatrist Dr Agnes Ayton told The Independent.

In their research, Dr Ayton and 22 other psychiatrists found that in 2019-20, just 31% of eating disorder services accepted all patients, regardless of the level of illness.

The researchers warned that the situation had become more serious following the pandemic, which had driven a “worsening of the demand and capacity” crisis across the services.

Experts have called for emergency funding to meet the needs of adult patients with eating disorders, and say that these services should be receiving at least £7m per million population each year to meet standards.

Dr Ayton warned that patients who are “literally on death’s door” are not getting care when they need it.

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Source: The Independent, 25 September 2022


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