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CSP mental health worker welcomes eating disorder plans

8 December 2014 - 3:39pm

The government’s plans to improve the treatment of young people with eating disorders have been welcomed by a physiotherapist who works closely with this patient group.

Heather Grimwade

Heather Grimwade, membership secretary for the Chartered Physiotherapists in Mental Health network. Photo: Simon Hadley

Heather Grimwade is membership secretary for the CSP’s chartered physiotherapists in mental health network and works at a specialist unit for people with severe eating disorders run by Coventry and Warwickshire partnership NHS trust.

She said she was ‘acutely aware’ that the age at which people were developing anorexia was getting lower, but that the proposals should improve treatment.

Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, announced £150 million to help develop specialist community-based teams to treat young people with eating disorders and who self-harm, so that hospital admission is a last resort.

The money is intended to extend access to talking therapies for young people, and the government said it will develop waiting time and access standards for eating disorders treatment by 2016.

‘The idea of doing this outside of specialist units would appear to be a good idea so as not to institutionalise young people,’ Ms Grimwade said.

‘So often I see the same faces come back to hospital to be treated again. It’s as if the hospital or unit has become a safe haven for them. This in turn causes problems with learnt behaviour between patients, especially with the younger ones.’

But she said that the announcement should have included plans to educate parents, carers and teachers about the signs of possible anorexia nervosa in young people.

‘What better way to help stop this awful mental health condition than to catch it early and deal with the issues then,’ she said.

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