Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg has announced a £150m investment to transform the treatment of children and young people with eating disorders.
Nick has secured the fund in this year’s Autumn Statement and forms part of the Liberal Democrats ongoing campaign to bring mental health services on a par with physical health care.
The fund will be rolled-out over the next five years and paves the way for the introduction of new waiting standards.
Research shows an increasing number of young people, some as young as five are being admitted to hospital for treatment of eating disorders at a cost to the NHS of around £200m a year.
The new funding will focus on channelling money from expensive institutional care to local provision through:
– pilot schemes to get young people with eating disorders early access to services in their communities, with properly trained teams, making hospital admission a last resort.
– extending access to talking therapies so that children and young people have choice of evidence based therapies.
“Too often children with mental health problems are being completely let down by the current system, with many suffering from eating disorders going unreported and untreated.
“We know that if an eating disorder goes untreated for more than 3 to 5 years the chances of recovery are greatly reduced, while incidents of self harm increase.
“That’s why we need to act now to transform the current system, intervening earlier with dedicated and targeted community-based services to ensure that we don’t fail this generation or the ones that follow.”