Improving Early Diagnosis of Eating Disorders; Dr Les Rudd Explains How Treatment for People with Eating Disorders in Wales Will Be Improved THEPROFESSIONALS

Article excerpt

Byline: Dr Les Rudd

THE number of people developing eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, is on the increase in Wales with about 1,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

It most commonly affects young women between 15 and 25, although many young men are also being diagnosed with disorders, and the effects can be devastating.

Many sufferers end up with long-term physical and emotional problems and, in a small number of cases, it can be life-threatening.

The majority of cases begin during adolescence and although some recover from mild symptoms, more serious disorders can do great damage if they are not tackled appropriately, effectively and quickly.

Early diagnosis and intervention are vital to prevent the condition from escalating and help avoid serious health issues or the condition continuing into adulthood.

That's why 1,000 Lives Plus has launched a new programme of work to help improve treatment for people with eating disorders across Wales.

The programme is a key part of the improvement work in mental health being introduced by the national programme, which is supporting organisations and individuals to deliver the highest quality and safest healthcare for the people of Wales.

1,000 Lives Plus will be working with health boards to improve early diagnosis, assessment, risk management and treatment of people with eating disorders.

The programme will support and help drive the implementation of the Welsh Government's Eating Disorders - A Framework for Wales, which was launched in 2009.

It aims to ensure people with eating disorders receive the right treatment at the right time in the right place.

To achieve this. there will be a focus on developing local specialised services in each health board area with more staff being trained in the skills needed to help people with eating disorders.

It is vital facilities and support are developed within the community to enable sufferers to be treated as close to home as possible and not be referred to services outside of Wales. …