Review of NHS Eating Disorders treatment in Wales underway

Posted 17/04/2018

An important review of the treatment of eating disorders in Wales presents a big opportunity to improve the treatment NHS Wales/GIG Cymru can offer, and those affected by eating disorders in Wales are invited to get involved.

The review has been commissioned by the Welsh government and is being led by Clinical Psychiatrist Dr Jacinta Tan, who specialises in eating disorders and carries out research at Swansea University. The review will look at all eating disorder services across Wales for people of all ages and cover all types of eating disorder.

The current treatment strategy – ‘The Eating Disorders Framework for Wales’ – was published in 2009. Since then, knowledge of the best ways to treat eating disorders has developed further and new NICE clinical guidance was published last year. The review aims to figure out what is working well and what changes need to be made to improve services. 

In his letter announcing the review, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething AM said that he has asked that it considers whether maximum waiting times for eating disorders treatment should be introduced in Wales and mentioned Beat’s campaign: 

“You will be aware that the Beat charity is also currently campaigning to implement ED waiting time standards in Wales, similar to those proposed for England. Assembly Members have contacted me on this issue and I have asked the review to consider the need, if any, for specific ED targets.”

This is an encouraging step that highlights the progress campaigners can achieve – almost 700 people signed our petition on waiting times in Wales, and at least 23 people contacted their Assembly Member about early intervention. With workshops and an online survey forming a vital part of the review, those affected by eating disorders will be able to demonstrate the necessity of changes like the introduction of waiting times targets.

Beat’s Policy and Research Officer, Jonathan Kelly said: “We are pleased that the Welsh government has recognised the need for a new strategy and that they have appointed Dr Tan to lead this review. It’s great to see the opportunities that have been created for people affected by eating disorders to contribute meaningfully to the review, either by taking part in a workshop or completing the online survey. We encourage all those in Wales with personal experience of an eating disorder to take part in this crucial work if they feel able to do so.”

The first round of workshops to take place for this review is open to people who have or have had an eating disorder and those close to them, e.g. friends, family and people who support them. 

They will be creative, fun events run by a team that includes people with personal or family experience of eating disorders. In these workshops, this team will ask the public what might be possible for NHS eating disorders treatment in Wales. There will be two rounds of workshops, the first in May and the second in Autumn 2018.

To find out more, please email Gemma at: Gemma.Johns@Swansea.ac.uk Or call her on: 01792 513289

You can keep up with the work of the review on Facebook: @TREDCymru2018; Twitter: @TREDCymru and Instagram: www.instagram.com/tredcymru/.

If you haven’t yet done so, you can send a message to your Assembly Member through our website, to ask them to support early intervention for eating disorders.