Patients with eating disorders being 'failed' by doctors
Thousands of people with eating disorders are being 'failed' by the NHS because doctors are waiting until people are extremely physically malnourished before they begin treatment, campaigners have claimed.
Britons struggling with eating disorders face a lengthy wait before they receive the NHS treatment, the former chair of the Council of the Royal College of GPs warned, after campaigners claimed that the NHS was 'failing' thousands of patients. Clare Gerada said:
With mental health, if you fall outside of the diagnostic label - and lots and lots of people do - you can't get treatment, either until the condition gets worse, or it doesn't get treatment full stop.
[For] any mental health problem, we currently have a 17-week waiting list for cognitive behavioural therapy. You wouldn't have to wait 17 weeks if you had a broken leg.
An estimated 1.6 million people in the UK suffer from eating disorders - around half are diagnosed with either anorexia or bulimia, while the rest are categorised as having an eating disorder not otherwise specified - known as EDNOS.
Campaigners say this group are often dismissed by NHS doctors as simply being "a bit funny about food" and do not receive the care they desperately need, with some people waiting two years for treatment.
EDNOS sufferers aren't just being 'a bit funny about food', they are seriously ill.
The NHS is amazing in so many ways, but at the same time, it's failing so many women and men who desperately need help now, not in a year's time.
We're therefore urging GPs to move away from the ethos of merely ticking boxes when it comes to assessing eating disorders.
It's time to take a stand and help all these thousands of women who are suffering - a lot of them in silence.
The NHS is "failing" thousands of patients with eating disorders who are being turned away by doctors because their condition is not deemed serious enough, campaigners have claimed.
Eating disorder charity BEAT has teamed up with Cosmopolitan magazine to makes the warning as it launches a joint campaign to urge GPs to take the potentially-fatal illness more seriously and widen treatment for it.
The campaigners claimed doctors are increasingly waiting for a sufferer to show extreme physical malnourishment before they begin treatment - a probelm described by the magazine's editor as a tick box culture in the NHS.