Bristol Health Partners’ Eating Disorders Health Integration Team (ED HIT) has welcomed the findings of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) inquiry into NHS care for patients with eating disorders.
The House of Commons PACAC Committee published a report on 18 June 2019 following its inquiry into eating disorder services, and made several recommendations endorsed by ED HIT.
The inquiry was launched to explore the findings of the 2017 report 'Ignoring the alarms' by the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman (PHSO), which outlined significant failings in NHS eating disorder services.
The Eating Disorders HIT submitted evidence to the parliamentary inquiry, drawing on the HIT's own research into experiences of primary care for patients, carers and GPs.
The submission was used to underline the inquiry finding that GPs were diagnosing eating disorders without following NICE guidelines. The report said:
“The Eating Disorders Health Integration Team in Bristol echoed this, telling us that in relation to young people with eating disorders, GPs were overly reliant on low BMI as an indicator of an eating disorder.”
ED HIT will now continue to take forward some of the recommendations from the report, which include improving training for doctors on eating disorders and addressing ‘cliff edges’ in care – such as transitioning from child to adult care.
Clinical Psychologist and co-director of ED HIT, Dr Sanni Norweg, said:
“While it is saddening that the inquiry found services have not improved across all areas for people with eating disorders, we hope that the findings will help to address the challenges that we aim to tackle in our work as a HIT, such as transition from child to adult services and strengthening community eating disorder services.
As a HIT, we focus on improving health outcomes for people in the wider Bristol city region, so it was great to see that our locally-focused research can inform national policymaking.”
Other inquiry conclusions and recommendations included calls for urgent research to establish accurate prevalence of eating disorders in England and addressing ‘postcode lottery’ gaps in care.
The Eating Disorders Health Integration Team (ED HIT) is a team of people with lived experience of eating disorders, psychologists, academics, commissioners, care and support providers and other experts, working together to improve the lives of people with eating disorders in Bristol. They are focused on improving care and quality of life for people with eating disorders.
Written evidence from ED HIT to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee (PACAC) 'Follow-up to the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman (PHSO) report "Ignoring the alarms: How NHS eating disorder services are failing patients"' inquiry.
'Inquiry: Follow-up to the PHSO report "Ignoring the alarms"' by the PACAC was published on 18 June 2019.
'Ignoring the alarms: How NHS eating disorder services are failing patients' by the PHSO investigated three cases which illustrated significant failings in NHS eating disorder services and serious issues that required national attention. It was published in December 2017.