How we currently provide eating disorders services
Most people with an eating disorder are first seen by their family doctor and are then referred on to more specialised care. This specialised care can be out-patient, day-patient and/or in-patient services.
The current service within the East Midlands region is based on a hub and spoke model with the spokes offering specialised, locally based, community care for people with eating disorders. Each county has one or more spokes. The hub provides a specialised in-patient facility for those individuals who are extremely severe. There is one hub within the region.
Each county team (spoke) has a specialised out-patient service that provides assessment, treatment and psychological therapy. These county teams vary with some teams offering a service to most people with eating disorders whilst others only offer a service to people with very severe anorexia nervosa. Each of the out-patient services also aims to develop links to any voluntary organisation providing support to sufferers of eating disorders in their neighbourhood. Not all areas have voluntary groups, most voluntary groups are also supported by b-eat, the national self-help organisation for people with eating disorders.
Each county has access to in-patient beds for those patients with anorexia nervosa who need to be admitted for treatment. Currently specialist in-patient treatment for patients within the East Midlands is provided by the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust within the Brandon Mental Health Unit on the Leicester General Hospital site. This unit provides 15 beds for the region. It offers a highly specialised intensive care weight restoration and group treatment programme. During the patient’s admission staff from the relevant out-patient service maintain contact with their patient and provide further support once the patient has been discharged from the unit. Due to the varying demand, accessibility and availability of in-patient eating disorders services other in-patient services are also used both from the public and private sector.