An Update from the National Clinical Programme for Eating Disorders
Clinical Lead for the HSE National Clinical Programme for Eating Disorders, Dr Michelle Clifford, provides an update on the national roll-out of programme, and the future of eating disorder care in Ireland.
This Eating Disorders Awareness Week, I am delighted to update you on the progress of the National Clinical Programme for Eating Disorders (NCPED). The cornerstone of the programme is the delivery of the Model of Care for Eating Disorder Services in Ireland to support early intervention, evidence based care and faster personal recovery for people with eating disorders, of all ages. Throughout 2020 we continued regular meetings of our National Oversight Group to support implementation of the Model of Care. Although there were no new teams in 2020, the three existing community eating disorder teams have experienced a 66% rise in referrals and seen twice as many for treatment compared to 2019. Our priority in 2021 is to advance recruitment for three new teams: two adult and a third child & adolescent team.
We are delighted with the recent commitment to supporting the delivery of these three teams, by the Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People.
Work force planning is an essential part of recruiting for future consultant led community eating disorder teams. There are now 4 Higher Specialist Training (HST) posts available in the community eating disorder teams. The first ASPIRE fellowship in eating disorders was awarded to Child and Adolescent Regional Eating Disorder Service in Cork & Kerry and will be available from July 2021. Throughout 2020 we have continued to provide inter-professional training and eating disorder hub development days for the community teams via online platforms.
We also continue to work in close partnership with Bodywhys and The College of Psychiatrists.
Our goals for 2021 include working with The College of Psychiatrists to establish a research group with academic membership on the National Oversight Group.
As part of Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2021, the ICGP guidelines for eating disorders will be published which were developed by our GP representative Dr Aoife O Sullivan of UCC Student health and Dr Sara Mc Devitt, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist. The HSE Eating Disorders Self Care App was launched in March 2020 with over 11,000 unique sessions to date.
The NCPED remain committed to working closely with our partners to ensure equity of access to patient centred and evidence based eating disorder services for all people in Ireland with eating disorders and we look forward to expanding the network of community eating disorder teams in 2021.
Dr Michelle Clifford is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist specialising in Eating Disorders and National Clinical Lead for the HSE National Clinical Programme in Eating Disorders.