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LAUNCH OF SCOTLAND’S FIRST SPECIALIST DAY SERVICE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH ANOREXIA

April 01, 2003 10:13 AM

An innovative new day service tailored to treat young people with anorexia nervosa will be launched by Greater Glasgow Primary Care NHS Trust on Friday, 28 March at 1pm

The Parry-Jones service, which is the first of its kind in Scotland, will provide a tailored day treatment programme for young people with anorexia in the West of Scotland.

Based at the adolescent unit at Gartnavel Royal Hospital, the service aims to reduce the long term risk of mortality in adolescents with anorexia in the West of Scotland. The service will aim to achieve this while maintaining young people in their familiar home and school environment, minimising the need for hospital admission, as well as providing early identification of young people who may require inpatient care.  The service will be run by a wide range of staff who are experienced in listening to and supporting young people with anorexia and meeting their medical, psychological and nutritional needs.

Young people aged 12-17 (up until their 18th birthday) who attend the programme will participate in individual, family and group therapy for two half days a week over a ten week period (with provision for further treatment if necessary).    Treatment is carried out in a peer group setting in order to reduce feelings of isolation that young people often feel as a result of their eating disorder.  The groups include self-image work, nutrition education, creative therapy, self-esteem groups and communication groups which aim to identify and work on the underlying problems that "trigger" and maintain the eating disorder.  There is also a Carers Support Group for parents and carers to share their experiences and gain support from each other.

The Parry-Jones Service is named after Professor William Parry-Jones whose work within the area of eating disorders highlighted the need for specialist adolescent services.

Young people who are concerned that they may have an eating disorder should, in the first instance, talk to their General Practitioner.  The GP may then refer the young person to the child and adolescent outpatient teams who work in partnership with and have direct access to the Parry-Jones service.  The child and adolescent outpatient teams will continue to work with young people with an eating disorder.

Dr Jane Morris, Consultant Psychiatrist, Parry-Jones Service, said:  "We are pleased to be launching this innovative new service, which is a much needed development, particularly since anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate in psychiatric medicine."

Steve Bloomfield, spokesperson for the Eating Disorder Association, said:  "We welcome this new service as young people with anorexia are more likely to benefit from specialist day services which allow them to receive appropriate treatment but at the same time retain valuable contacts with family, friends and school."

Background Information

Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate in Psychiatric Medicine and is associated with high levels of physical complications, which may be irreversible.  Anorexia has a prevalence rate of 1%-2% of the adolescent population and over 400 young people in Scotland alone have an eating disorder, one of the highest rates in Britain.  Anyone can develop an eating disorder, regardless of gender, age or race; although the majority of sufferers are young adolescent girls (approximately 10% of sufferers are boys).  The onset of eating disorders, particularly anorexia, tends to be in the adolescent years.

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