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Suffolk eating disorder service given nearly £1million investment




An investment of nearly £1 million is to be put into the East and West Suffolk Eating Disorder Service.

At a meeting this week of the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), members agreed for £932,000 to be put into the service.

The amount was agreed due to the urgent need to address capacity issues caused by the increase in referrals over the last year and the subsequent lengthened waiting times for assessment and treatment.

Dr Rosalind Tandy, a GP in Bury St Edmunds and NHS West Suffolk CCG’s mental health lead, said: “This extra money will help boost immediate support, but importantly too we have longer-term plans to redesign services so they are much more nimble and effective and over the coming months we will be working on those plans, in conjunction with patients and our partners."

BEAT ambassador Laura Shah with MP James Cartlidge.
BEAT ambassador Laura Shah with MP James Cartlidge.

The money will be used to recruit 15 new patient-facing posts with service provider Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and the commissioning of more support services from voluntary community and social enterprise organisations, such as Wednesday’s Child and BEAT.

James Cartlidge, MP for South Suffolk, said: “I am delighted that our local CCGs have approved significant funding to support people suffering from eating disorders. Some of my most challenging constituency cases have involved young people suffering in this debilitating way. I’m particularly pleased that the resource will be going directly to the voluntary sector.

“Combined with the investment in personality disorders and mental health practitioners to support our ambulance service, this shows a real determination from our CCGs to address the wider mental health challenge that is likely to have been significantly exacerbated by Covid-19 lockdown. I hope that this package can bring genuine relief to some of my most vulnerable constituents.”

Debbie Watson, founder and director of East of England eating disorder organisation, Wednesday’s Child.
Debbie Watson, founder and director of East of England eating disorder organisation, Wednesday’s Child.

Debbie Watson, founder and director of East of England eating disorder organisation, Wednesday’s Child, said she was delighted to hear about the investment being made into eating disorder support in the region.

She said: "Wednesday’s Child have long been keen to work alongside the clinical commissioning groups and the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to be part of the solution for both adults and young people in our region.

“Voluntary sector organisations such as ours have a lot to offer when working in collaboration with statutory services, and we are excited about bringing our innovative and lived-experience approach to eating disorder care across the region in the months ahead.”

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