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Eating Disorders

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 237761, tabled on 27 March 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with eating disorders clinicians on how to improve (a) treatment wait times, (b) inpatient care, (c) outpatient care and (d) post-treatment support.

Answered on

4 April 2019

It is the role of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to provide evidence and guidance to the National Health Service on healthcare. NICE has published guidance on the recognition and treatment of people with eating disorders. NICE guidelines are based on the best available evidence, with recommendations put together by clinical experts, people using services, carers and the public.

The ‘eating disorders: recognition and treatment guideline’ (NG 69) was published in 2004 and revised in 2017. It includes information on inpatient and day patient treatment, and monitoring people not in treatment. It is available at the following link:

For waiting times, NHS England commissioned the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH) to develop the ‘Access and Waiting Time Standard for Children and Young People with an Eating Disorder’ Commissioning Guide. The guidance sets out how commissioners and providers should improve treatment pathways to meet the access and waiting time standard.

To inform the work of the team that drafted the guide, the NCCMH set up an Expert Reference Group made up of professionals and clinicians from specialist and technical areas. The guide therefore builds on views from over 700 professionals and 1,700 children and young people.

The guidance was published in 2015 and is available at the following link:

The ‘Clinically-led Review of NHS Access Standards’ Interim Report, published in March, states that NHS England will test four-week waiting times for adult and older adult community mental health and it is expected that eating disorders will be included in this. The proposals will be field tested at a selection of pilot sites across England, before wider implementation. Alongside the field testing, engagement will take place across the health service before making recommendations to the Government and full implementation beginning spring 2020.