Saturday, August 13, 2011

NHS treatment of eating disorders

I have already mentioned Bryan Lask in a previous post about eating disorders. He has responded to a Guardian leader about specialist treatment for anorexic children. He believes that eating disorders are "highly complex genetically determined, brain-based disorders". However, he doesn't explain why he thinks this.

He expresses concern about the reduction in the number of young people admitted to specialist inpatient units and suggests that they are being admitted to paediatric units instead. I'm not sure where he gets his figures from. He argues that the motivation for closure of specialist units is financial.

I presume he means that NHS savings mean that the number of referrals to private units has decreased. He is no longer medical advisor to the Huntercombe group which runs three such units. Maybe he's worried they'll be forced to close. Current reforms of the NHS (see my personal blog) may well eventually open up the market for the management of eating disorders, but it's not necessarily always been the best use of money to ship difficult to manage patients out of the NHS (again, see another personal blog entry).

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