£500,000 to improve eating disorder services for young people in Wales

An additional £500,000 a year will be invested by the Welsh Government to improve the care young people with eating disorders receive when they turn 18, Health Secretary Vaughan Gething has announced.

The funding will help improve the services available for young people and their families when they transfer from the care of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to Adult Services for treating eating disorders.

Currently, CAMHS services deliver a family-based treatment approach up to age of 18, whereas adults’ services deliver an individualised model of treatment from the 18th birthday, which may or may not include the involvement of family members in the treatment.

Funding will enable the recruitment of new specialist staff and for existing specialist staff to increase the time available to support young people with eating disorders.

The overall vision is to create a transitional service which is embedded into the adult eating disorders service and actively reaches into and co-works with colleagues from CAMHS services.

Funding will facilitate the blending of some services such as home/community support and family-based treatments to ensure a seamlessly managed transition. It will also support enhanced training for existing staff and assist in setting up joint treatment interventions, including Multi-Family Group Therapy Programmes, Cognitive Remediation Therapy, and Family Support.

The additional funding announced today is in addition to £1.25m per annum the Welsh Government invests in wider eating disorder treatment services for children and adults across Wales.

Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething said: “We’re absolutely committed to supporting young people and adults in Wales with mental health issues, including eating disorders.

“Eating disorders comprise a range of highly complex mental illnesses, as well as being physically debilitating conditions in themselves, which is why early diagnosis and intervention is vital.

“The additional funding I’m announcing today will help ensure the services and treatment approach young people and their families’ receive will not change when they transition from CAMHS into adult services.

“This will help ensure young people receive the care and support they need during what is an extremely difficult time for them and their family. I hope the improvements this funding will support will make a real and positive difference to them.”

Matt Pearce