Letters, calls and emails: NHS anorexia provision is ‘non-existent in UK’

Dear Editor,

Your clinical review on eating disorders was concise and helpful (GP, 9 February).

However Dr Keith Barnard’s review of related internet resources contained the most relevant comment of all, namely that there is plenty of helpful advice available but many of the recommendations mean little without resources to back them up.

My own daughter has suffered from anorexia and such has been the lack of response from the NHS that we, her family, have had to take complete responsibility for arranging her treatment, including six months as an inpatient in a clinic in Johannesburg. She has now managed to return to her studies at Cardiff University but, should her condition deteriorate, we will be thrown back on our own resources as there are no inpatient beds for people with this condition throughout Wales, a country that has four university campuses.

My experience from my own practice leads me to conclude that an effective eating disorder service is probably non existent in the UK.

All in all, this situation represents a very personal one of a growing list of reasons why I feel ashamed to be associated with the lousy organisation that the NHS has become.

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