Monday , November 23 2020

New guides for doctors for treating people with eating disorders

Doctors in Scotland have new guidelines to support the treatment and care of patients with eating disorders.

The move is part of the Scottish Government's 10-year mental health strategy, which is set out in 2017.

After being produced by the Scottish Intellological Guidelines Network (Sign), the guidance will focus on "Scotland's unique cultural and geographical composition".

This includes remote and rural parts of the country where specialist treatment is not available.

It will also give clinicians more advice on supporting patients with medical complications associated with anorexia nervosa. A version of the guidance will also be included for patients and carers.

In 2017/18, around 536 people across Scotland were treated for the diagnosis of eating disorders.

Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said the guidance would help support clinicians in treating patients.

"Patients across Scotland have the best possible support available and I welcome the eating disorders guidelines. Signs create more specific advice for clinicians in Scotland," said Ms Haughey.

"Our ambitious 10-year Mental Health Strategy, with an investment of £ 150 million over the next five years, sets out clearly how we can improve early intervention, and ensure better access to services, including specific actions to Support people with eating disorders

"Eating disorders do not discriminate – anyone can affect them and we are committed to raising awareness across Scotland."

Sara Twaddle, Improving Healthcare Scotland, welcomed the guidance.

Ms Twaddle said: "Studies tell us that teenage eating disorders can be as high as 12% and that male eating disorders are increasingly recognized.

"In addition, professional and public bodies representing people with eating disorders tell us that there is a need for a diagnosis and treatment guide that is specific to the needs of Scotland.

"We believe that the guidance will support access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and will complement the work that Healthcare Improvement Scotland provides to support this.

"Our intention is that the guide improves the care that people receive, and it improves service provision and the outcomes across Scotland."

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