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Eating Disorders Awareness Week: how HPFT supports people with eating disorders

26 Feb 24

This week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week and an opportunity to raise awareness about eating disorders, promote understanding and provide support to individuals affected by these conditions.

When people typically think of an eating disorder, what often comes to mind is the image of a young, emaciated girl. Yet, eating disorders can affect individuals of any sex, any age and they can be extremely underweight, a “normal” weight or overweight.

Eating disorders are complex psychological problems that can cause intense distress, considerable physical risk and impairment in people’s social, occupational and other areas of functioning.

The main types of eating disorders are:

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Atypical Eating Disorders or sometimes referred to as EDNOS (i.e. Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). Atypical eating disorders include Binge Eating Disorder, Atypical Anorexia Nervosa and Atypical Bulimia Nervosa.

HPFT provides support for both adults and children who are living with an eating disorder.

Community Eating Disorder Service

The Community Eating Disorder Service (CEDS) is a service for adults which offers several different treatment options.

The community teams consist of doctors, nurses, therapists, psychologists, support workers and social workers and offer numerous medical, psychological and social interventions to support people in their recovery.   Service users typically attend for assessment initially and if accepted by the service, are likely to be offered weekly psychological therapy with psychiatric, dietetic, family therapy or support work sessions as additional support or occasionally as the main intervention.

CEDS also has the following services:

The Acorn Day Service, based at Rosanne House in Welwyn, which can admit six service users.

The service offers intensive treatment interventions with the aim of avoiding inpatient admission (by recognising at an early stage a decline in physical and mental wellbeing) or as a step-down support following inpatient admission with the aim of avoiding readmission. 

The virtual intensive service (VIT) (provided by the East of England Provider Collaborative and delivered by HPFT) aims to support people to avoid specialist eating disorder inpatient admission.  It provides a 12-week programme of online meal and group support with a view to promoting weight or health restoration 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. The service covers the east of England and works alongside the individuals’ local community eating disorder teams, who monitor the physical health of the service user by seeing them face to face.

The Intensive Community Support Team Works with people under CEDS where it is felt that they would benefit from intensive community support. This may be to:

  • Improve their health and thereby reduce the risk to themselves, and/or
  • Reduce the likelihood they will need an admission to hospital, or
  • Prepare them for hospital admission where community treatment is not helping, or
  • To enable an earlier discharge from hospital

An intensive home-based treatment for up to 12-weeks is provided in addition to existing support with the CEDS to improve health outcomes through improved nutrition and weight restoration. 


A multi-disciplinary team provides specialist CAMHS input to children and young people with eating disorders. It provides home-based treatment, out-patient treatment and supporting referrals to inpatient services. The care offered includes intensive home-based support for high risk cases; community based support to provide early intervention to all children with an eating disorder; specific eating based therapy working on recovery and family therapy.

The CAMHS Eating Disorder Team also liaise closely with colleagues at the First Steps Eating Disorder service. Some young people may be able to access First Steps rather than the CAMHS Eating Disorder Team or access the service once they complete treatment with the CAMHS Eating Disorder Team.

For more information on our services visit:

Adults – https://ow.ly/jK3b50QGF79

Children - https://ow.ly/33mP50QGF78

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