11 May 2021 - A report investigating funding for children and young people’s eating disorder services in England has been published today.
The “Short-Changed” report, compiled by Beat on behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on eating disorders, follows the promising step in 2019/20 when NHS England gave Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) an extra £11m of funding for children and young people’s community eating disorder services (so increasing the total additional funding allocated for these services from £30m to £41m).
The report shows that this increase in funding did not reach frontline services. Many CCGs spent only a fraction of the extra funding – collectively, spending on children and young people’s community eating disorder services was just £1.1 million more in 2019/20 than in 2018/19. In other words, 90% of the total additional funding did not reach the services it was pledged to.
In order to have the best chance of a full recovery, it’s vital that people with eating disorders have access to specialist treatment at the earliest opportunity. The access and waiting time standard for children and young people with an eating disorder, introduced in 2015, has led to major improvements in access to treatment in England. But increasing demand for underfunded services will mean people missing out on support when they need it most.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, referrals to children and young people’s community eating disorder services were on the rise, which NHS England recognised when it provided the extra funding for 2019/20. As referrals continue to rise to record highs due to the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that the extra funding pledged reaches children and young people’s community eating disorder services.
Followed by a Conversation with Eating Disorder Lived Experience Volunteers and Experts from the Field
Thursday 10 June
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eating Disorders has reached the end of the group’s reporting year and are required to hold an Annual General Meeting.
Beat has agreed to continue providing the Secretariat.
During this meeting, the group will:
Following the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting at 2:15 the meeting will be opened to all members for a broader conversation about eating disorders with contributions from volunteers with lived experience of eating disorders and experts from the field. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The All-Party Parliamentary group on eating disorders was formed in 2019 and since then it has been bringing together MPs from across Parliament to improve policy, in particular improving access and treatment for people affected by eating disorders and measures that support prevention and early intervention.
Beat’s Chief Executive Andrew Radford said:
“Beat is delighted to continue to provide the Secretariat for the All-party Parliamentary group on eating disorders. It is very encouraging to see politicians from all parties coming together to ensure more people can access specialist, effective treatment for eating disorders.
“More people than ever are in treatment for these serious mental illnesses, but there is still an need for improvements in policy. On average it takes nearly three and a half years for someone to get treatment after first falling ill. We would not accept such a long delay for other conditions, and we need to ensure people can get the help they need quickly. The sooner someone gets treatment, the better their chance of a rapid and sustained recovery.
“The causes of eating disorders are still little understood, and if we are to end the pain and suffering caused by eating disorders, we need more research into how these devastating illnesses could be prevented or cured.
“We look forward to working with MPs and other stakeholders to help make that vision a reality.”
Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Eating Disorders, Wera Hobhouse MP said:
“I am delighted to have taken over as Chair of the APPG following the 2019 election. Eating disorders are an issue which I am extremely passionate about and have been campaigning on since I arrived in Parliament in 2017.
"The APPG has brought together MPs from across the House who wish to better understand eating disorders and the complicated issues that surround the treatment of individual sufferers. Eating disorders affect over 1.25 million people in the UK and many MPs will have encountered eating disorder sufferers in their constituencies.
“The group will be working to recommend improvements to service provision across the United Kingdom, including reducing waiting times and ensuring everyone has access to good quality treatment across the UK.
“We will be engaging with service users, providers, third sector organisations and Government to improve service provision and increase awareness of eating disorders.”
Co-Chair of the group Scott Benton MP added:
“This is an incredibly important cause and I am proud to be a part of the group and to have taken on the role of Co-Chair. Eating disorder are a serious mental illness and too many individuals and families are struggling because of them. As an APPG we will be highlighting the need for more essential research into understanding eating disorders and how best to treat them.”
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Eating Disorders – a group of MPs from across parliament that work to improve policy on eating disorders - has launched an inquiry into funding for eating disorders research in the UK which will run from December 2020 to Spring 2021.
Ensuring that eating disorders research in the UK receives the investment it needs will require action and collaboration from funders, researchers, the voluntary sector, governments, and others.
The APPG is grateful to the many organisations and individuals that submitted written evidence in response. This will now be considered as part of preparations for at least one oral evidence session via Zoom in Spring 2021.
If you would like further information on this inquiry, please contact email@example.com.
This is not an official website [or feed] of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in these webpages are those of the group.