A regional NHS service is expanding its offer to ensure people with eating disorders receive the care and treatment they need.
Run by two mental health service providers, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), the Intensive Day Services (IDS) will undergo significant change over the coming months.
There is set to be two major developments to the service; an increase in appointments and the introduction of IDS @ Home, an intensive outreach service which will allow people to receive care and treatment from their own homes. IDS @ Home will support people living in hard-to-reach rural areas across the region.
The work is part of the provider collaborative model for adult eating disorders, which sees the two NHS Trusts working together to deliver improved care for patients across its population.
One of its key priorities is to provide care closer to home. Currently, patients have to travel to bases at Stockton and Newcastle or see a community eating disorder team that is unable to provide intensive treatment.
CNTW will also be doubling its sessions from 50 to 100 offered at Benfield House at Walkergate Park in Newcastle, in line with what TEWV already offers. A session is classed as a morning or afternoon where service users can access psychological treatment and support.
Kelly Haslem, Associate Director for Neurological and Specialist Services at CNTW, said: “This is a really important step in ensuring we deliver the most appropriate care for people with eating disorders.
“By increasing accessibility, we can reduce hospital admissions and give people the option to make informed decisions on the care they receive and where they receive it.
“Getting to those hard-to-reach areas enables us to provide continuity of care and avoid a postcode lottery for people who need our services, making access equal for all.”
Dr Nick Wolstenholme, Consultant Psychiatrist in Adult Eating Disorders at TEWV said: “It’s excellent news that partnership is being strengthened and extending its offer to ensure people with eating disorders receive the care and treatment they need, building upon our existing service offer and improving access to intensive support.”
The two NHS Trusts worked with people with lived experience of eating disorders on how to improve the service and provide equitable access to specialist care.
After identifying the need for more capacity, the service is currently recruiting further staff to meet demand.
The new service model will provide numerous benefits, from helping to reduce waiting times for services to increasing access for patients in the community, therefore preventing hospital admissions and pressure on beds.
The service will be more flexible based on individual need and offer greater levels of support to allow people to access help to sustain recovery and prevent relapse.