Local consultations for NHS Long Term Plan – Have your say.

How we got here

In January 2019, the NHS Long Term Plan set out key national ambitions for the next ten years of the NHS in England that make mental health a key priority. The accompanying ‘Mental Health Implementation Plan’ includes promising initiatives to improve support and treatment for people with eating disorders, and NHS England’s recently published commissioning guidance outlines what patients and carers should be able to expect from adult eating disorder services.

These are all big steps in the right direction. These plans must translate to action to make a real difference to people with eating disorders, but their publication helps campaigners like you hold the Government and the NHS to account.

As five-year plans are created across regions in England to achieve the vision of the Long Term Plan, you have a great opportunity to make sure eating disorders get the focus they deserve.

What now

Your area will be covered by a Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) or Integrated Care System (ICS), which will be making these five-year plans. Find out more about STPs and ICSs.

STPs and ICSs are seeking the views of people in their communities to help them decide what to include in their plans and how best to use their resources.

This is your chance to have your say and encourage local NHS leaders to prioritise eating disorders by sharing what you have learnt from your experiences and highlighting what the NHS Long Term Plan and Commissioning Guidance have to say about these serious mental illnesses.

Three key areas from the NHS Long Term Plan:

  • Pledges to boost investment in children and young people’s eating disorder services.
    • Achieve the 95% waiting time target for young people.
    • Continue to increase the numbers of young people who can access services.
    • Encourage development of a consistent approach to treatment for young adults.
  • Improving transitions – better coordination to stop people ‘falling between the gaps’ between child and adult services.
  • Improving access to adult community mental health services, beginning with testing four-week waiting time targets in some areas. This includes specialist community services for eating disorders.

Key expectations from NHS England commissioning guidance for adults are that eating disorder services will:

  • Remove any barriers and thresholds to accessing treatment (including BMI)
  • Provide access to treatment for the full range of diagnoses.
  • Provide evidence-based treatment.
  • Ensure all patients have a written care plan.
  • Support and empower families and other carers.
  • Ensure services are fully coproduced with people who have lived experience.

Once these local five-year plans are published, it will be crucial that people with lived experience of eating disorders can continue to influence how they are put into practice and reviewed. Getting involved now is only the beginning of being able to shape the services in your area.

How you can get involved