Eating disorder centre debate

Calls are being made for a specialist residential eating disorder unit in Wales. As many as 56,000 people in Wales have eating issues and one in five die as a result.

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Welsh Government 'committed' to eating disorder help

The Welsh Government say they are committed to providing care and support to people in need of treatment and they are reviewing the current services.

The Welsh Government has invested an addtional £1million every year since 2010 to sustain and develop services. Two specialist eating disorder teams have been established - one for north Wales and one for south Wales - to improve diagnosis, care and support for people with eating disorders.

For those few people requiring highly specialised care due to the severity of their disorder, care is provided at one of a small number of specialist centres in the UK.

– Welsh government spokesperson

'Specialist treatment in England helped me recover'

21-year-old Keira Marlow from Brecon suffered with anorexia for four years. She was treated by various different services, including a general psychiatric hospital in Wales. She was eventually sent to a specialist eating disorder hospital in Marlborough and then began to recover.

Not only did this hospital treat the physical damage of anorexia, through gaining weight and monitoring my medical needs, but it also helped me with the mental damage anorexia caused.

There is not a single eating disorder hospital in Wales. A Welsh hospital would mean that the Welsh government would no longer have to spend thousands of pounds every year on funding the inpatient stay of a Welsh sufferer in an English hospital.

A Welsh hospital would also help to reduce the stress of being so far away from home and would make it easier for family and friends to visit.

– Kiera Marlow

'We need an improved service for sufferers'

The chair of the Assembly group on eating disorders is calling on the Welsh Government to provide more support for sufferers. Bethan Jenkins AM says Wales needs a specially-dedicated unit.

The Welsh Government gave £1m over three years for the Eating Disorders Framework, but now its time for a new commitment. People will ask - how can we afford this in an age of cuts? But I am arguing that, first of all, we need an improved service for sufferers. And, secondly, a unit here may well turn out to provide better value for money in the longer term.

– Bethan Jenkins AM