The Welsh Government today announced an additional £500,000 per year in funding to help young people with eating disorders as they turn 18. This follows a BBC Wales / Panorama investigation into eating disorders in Wales, with which Beat was involved. In response to the announcement, Beat says:
“We welcome the announcement of additional funding in Wales to improve care for young people suffering from an eating disorder, and we applaud the Welsh Government’s commitment to strengthening the provision of care for the crucial transition period from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to adult services.
“We know from talking to those we support that the move from receiving treatment at a child and adolescent service to an adult service can represent a particularly difficult period. Without well-coordinated transition of care between the two services, sufferers can experience potentially serious setbacks in their recovery.
“We’re pleased that this investment was agreed following consultation with specialist NHS staff working in Wales. We encourage the Welsh Government to properly ring-fence this funding to ensure it is spent as intended, and to involve young people and their families in its allocation so that it is used as effectively as possible.
“Transitions between services for people with eating disorders need to improve throughout the UK, so we encourage other governments, in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, to look closely at this step by the Welsh Government, and to take similar action.
“However, we also encourage the Welsh Government to look at what other Governments in the UK are doing to improve treatment for eating disorder sufferers. The Access & Waiting Times Standard for Young People in England is an important measure, recognising the need for quick access to specialist care for all who need it. We therefore urge the Welsh Government to take similar action to reduce waiting times in Wales.
“Eating disorders are serious, complex mental illnesses and early intervention is key to recovery. All evidence tells us the sooner someone with an eating disorder gets the treatment they need, the more likely they are to make a full and sustained recovery. We urge Governments across the UK to take whatever action is needed to reduce waiting times for eating disorder sufferers.”