Children in Sussex need urgent help with eating disorders

HUNDREDS of children in the county have access to urgent treatment for eating disorders.

About 217 children were treated for eating disorders at the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in the year to June – up from 39 in the same period two years earlier.

Guidelines state that 95 percent of urgent referrals should be dealt with within a week.

But at the Trust, 30.9 percent reached that threshold in the year to June.

Tom Quinn, director of external affairs at anti-eating disorder charity Beat, said the increase in wait times and lists is “very concerning” as many children are experiencing heightened anxiety during the pandemic and some are asking for eating disorder help for the first time.

“Treatment for NHS eating disorders has increased dramatically since the pre-coronavirus era and NHS services are not receiving the funding or staffing they need,” he said.

Mr Quinn called on the government to release a fully funded mental health recovery plan – including announcing additional funding and a workforce strategy – to ensure every person with an eating disorder has access to treatment quickly.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it was “determined” to provide mental health care to people with eating disorders and to invest in services to treat an additional 345,000 children and young people by 2024.

The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has been contacted for comment. Children in Sussex need urgent help with eating disorders

Fry Electronics Team

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