New eating disorder waiting times targets could urgently help adult sufferers

Posted 11/03/2019

The NHS has today for the first time indicated that waiting times targets could be introduced for adults with eating disorders in England. The Interim Report of the NHS’s Clinically-led Review of NHS Access Standards states that four-week waiting times for adult and older adult community mental health teams, including for eating disorders, will be tested with selected local areas.

Welcoming the news, Beat’s Director of External Affairs Tom Quinn said, “There is an urgent need for better service provision for adults with eating disorders and today marks a welcome indication that the NHS recognises this.

“Waiting time targets for under-19s and accompanying investment have helped more children and young people receive fast treatment for eating disorders than ever before, but although more adults suffer with these serious illnesses than children, a severe lack of services means they are often unable to access treatment.

“The sooner someone gets help for an eating disorder, the better their chances of a rapid recovery, with lower costs to the NHS. The NHS should be doing all it can to ensure everyone who needs treatment can get it, fast, and waiting times targets is a step towards that.

“The testing and future roll-out of the standards must have an ambitious timescale and be supported by sufficient funding for new and existing adult services.”

Thank you to all our campaigners who have signed the petition and raised this with their MPs and local services, all of your voices have contributed to this decision! This is a positive move and a big step forward for our ‘Adults need fast treatment too’ campaign. We still have some way to go until we see these standards implemented across the country, so taking action to show your support is still as important as ever.

These targets will only cover England, unfortunately no similar targets are yet in place for those living in Scotland and Wales. We need to change this so that every person living in the UK has fair and fast access to treatment. Take action to support our ‘End the Wait’ campaigns.