Spotting The Signs of Eating Disorders

To coincide with Children’s Mental Health Week 2019, Healthy London Partnership are pleased to publish the Healthy London Partnership “Children and young people with eating disorders: Guidelines for primary care professionals”. The guidelines share advice about spotting the signs of eating disorders and when to refer children and young people (CYP) to the community eating disorders service (CEDS) for specialist support.

Eating disorders are complex disorders that can have many underlying causes which tend to manifest during adolescence. There are multiple types of eating disorders and it is crucial to recognise the symptoms early on.

Dr Ann York, Healthy London Partnership Clinical Advisor for Children and Young People’s Mental Health, said:

“We are delighted to publish these guidelines for primary care professionals. They have been created in partnership with GPs, eating disorder specialists and Beat, the UK’s eating disorders charity. GPs told us they wanted clear information on how to manage and support children and young people with a suspected eating disorder, so we are pleased to be able to share these guidelines and ultimately help young people and their families access the treatment they need.

The key message is that if primary care professionals suspect a child or young person has an eating disorder, they should be referred immediately to their local CYP CEDS.”

The guidelines provide an overview of:

·       Red flag symptoms

·       What to look out for and consider

·       When to refer and assessment timescales

·       Information which should be included in the referral

·       Contact information for the seven London CYP CEDS

The guidelines also include the Beat ‘Eating Disorder – Know the first signs’ resource, and information about Beat support services.

The guidelines are also included in the Healthy London Partnership Primary Care Children and Young People’s Toolkit here.

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