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Expanded service provides extra help for eating disorders

​More young patients in West Norfolk are now able to get specially-tailored help with eating disorders after Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) expanded the service it provides.

New staff have been recruited to the eating disorders service based at Thurlow House in King’s Lynn, which means it is now able to offer bespoke care to even more young people suffering with illnesses such as anorexia and bulimia.

The expansion means the team will be able to reach more people at an earlier stage of the illness before their problems become too great, as well as focusing on preventative work in schools and colleges. It has been made possible with transformation funding awarded to the region by NHS England.

Lydia Goodrum, Clinical Nurse Specialist for Eating Disorders, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to expand the service we provide, as it means we will be able to help even more young people and their families.

“When we receive a referral, we carry out a full assessment before putting together a tailored care plan which will meet their individual needs. We have designed the service to be as flexible as possible, and can offer support in people’s own homes, schools or colleges, or at our clinic.
“It’s vital to reach people as early as possible, as it means they can get better so much sooner. To help us do this, we will also be carrying out a lot of work to raise awareness of the care we provide, as well as the warning signs people should be looking out for.”

Lydia works alongside Clinical Team Leader Debbie Murrell, Mental Health Practitioner Elliot Robinson and Family Therapist Angie Sams to deliver the service. The team offer a wide variety of help tailored to each individual’s needs, including nutritional therapy, psychological therapy, family therapy and help with the social aspects linked with the illness.

They also work closely with GPs and other NSFT specialists, while also providing meal support in people’s homes, colleges or schools. The team are also planning to introduce a support group for parents and carers during July to help boost their confidence and give them coping mechanisms.

The service caters for people up to the age of 18 who live in west Norfolk. It takes referrals from GPs and other health professionals, such as school nurses, while any parents who have concerns about their child can contact the team direct on 01553 736011.