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Celebrating a pioneering new service during Eating Disorders Awareness Week

27 Feb 23

This week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week and HPFT are celebrating the roll out of a pioneering virtual intensive service for adults with severe eating disorders. The service will help to prevent admissions to hospital and provide valuable support to people who are struggling to cope.

A similar service was launched during the Covid-19 pandemic as the planned day unit could not open as an in-person provision. It proved very successful and had unexpected benefits; service users were able to retain more independence as they had to prepare their own food and needed to work more closely with family and home support than perhaps they would have done if they had been all day on a day unit.

Following its success, the East of England Provider Collaborative for Adult Eating Disorders has now commissioned a regional virtual service and recruitment for staff to manage it is now underway. This is the start of a year-long, evaluated pilot hosted by HPFT but serving the whole of the East of England.

The virtual service will provide online meal and group support with a view to promoting weight gain to allow the service user to get out of physical danger at home and then continue their eating disorder recovery with their own local community eating disorders service (CEDS). The local CEDS will be involved throughout and will monitor the physical health of the service user by seeing them face to face.

Tanya Lovett, Professional Lead, said:

“Eating disorders are complex psychological problems which can have a negative impact in many areas of people’s lives. It is hugely rewarding to be able to make a difference to people living with an eating disorder.

“This virtual service provides a valuable step-up from community services for those who need extra support and are at high risk of specialist eating disorders inpatient admission. It also offers a transition back from the hospital to the community for people who need further intensive support but who no longer require a hospital bed.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who might like to join the team. We still have a vacancy for a Lead Occupational Therapist and a couple of other posts are in recruitment, and will be re-advertised if not filled.  Please visit NHS jobs to apply as the jobs come out or call Tanya in the CEDS team 01707 364006, if you’d like to hear more.”

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