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Specialist eating disorder service shortlisted for top regional award

​A specialist service run by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) to ensure children and young people get the help they need to overcome eating disorders has been shortlisted for a regional award.

The Central Norfolk Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders Service (CEN-CAEDS) has been named as a finalist in the team outstanding clinical achievement category in the East of England Leadership Recognition Awards, which are organised by Health Education England.

The shortlisting comes in recognition of the work which has taken place over the past few years to develop CEN-CAEDS from a small service run by two part-time members of staff into a top-performer which has been accredited by eating disorders charity BEAT.

The team now cares for more than around 140 young people at any one time, and concentrates on providing the right interventions at an early stage to give the individual a greater chance of making a good recovery and prevent a hospital admission, wherever possible. A range of treatments are available, including psychoeducation, motivational enhancement therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, medical management and individual therapy, along with group sessions, family work, and carer support.

Now 10-strong, the team is made up of a consultant, associate specialist, clinical nurse specialist, clinical team manager, nurses, assistant practitioners, a systemic therapist, a cognitive behavioural therapist. The service also hosts trainee doctors and nurses, while work is currently taking place to recruit a dietitian to further improve the care which patients receive.

Dr Kiran Chitale, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with the team, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the service has been shortlisted for this award. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team, who are managing increasing numbers of patients with more severe problems every year.

“We provide a comprehensive service within the community, and do our best to enable young people to work towards recovery and return to their developmental trajectory, whilst trying to avoid hospital admissions wherever possible. We work with our patients and their families to put together individual treatment plans tailored to meet their needs, which could include individual and group therapies to help them manage their feelings, as well as health and nutritional restoration within a holistic care model.

“Our young people have played a major role in helping us to shape the service so that it responds well to their needs. Young ambassadors and carer ambassadors have an input into the way the service is delivered and developed, and will often come with us to talk to local GPs to raise awareness of the symptoms of eating disorders and the importance of early intervention. We feel very privileged to work with them and are really grateful for helping us to make the service what it is today.

“We are very proud of the care we provide and the positive impact it has had on helping so many people make a good recovery. It is incredibly rewarding to see.”

The winners will be announced during a ceremony at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford on 24 November.