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Eating Disorders

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure there is appropriate treatment and support available for individuals who have an eating disorder. (258198)

We take the issue of eating disorders, especially among young people, seriously. This is why the Department asked the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to produce clinical guidelines on core interventions in the treatment and management of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and related eating disorders. This guidance was published in 2004.

The Department currently supports the eating disorder charity, beat, through direct funding worth £131,000 over three years, 2006-09. Since 2001-02, real terms investment in adult mental health services increased by 44 per cent., almost £1.7 billion, putting in place the services and staff needed to transform mental health services. The national health service (NHS) spent £5.53 billion on these services in 2007-08, with real term investment increasing by 3.74 per cent. between 2006 to 2007 and 2007 to 2008.

We have thus made very substantial resources available to the NHS from which to provide treatments and services for the population. However, the responsibility for the provision of all NHS services, including the provision of support and treatment for eating disorders, rests with primary care trusts.