"Problems accessing Eating Disorder Service"

About: Families, Young People and Children Division / Adult Eating Disorders Therapy Service

(as the patient),

I'm (hopefully) coming to the end of a course of out-patient therapy to deal with a long-standing eating disorder. The care I've received from clinical staff has been excellent and I'm very thankful to have had access to them.

However, the administrative support is dire. Contacting the clinical team is very difficult.

On two occasions, I've contacted the service because things had deteriorated rather rapidly. On one occasion, I had a provisional discharge with an open appointment if required; on the second, I was still receiving weekly therapy. On both occasions, it took 7-8 phone-calls over a fortnight period before I was contacted by my clinician (he wasn't away or anything at the time! ). The messages simply hadn't been passed on; nor was I offered any other support in the meantime. This is clearly dangerous.

However, in my case it had significant implications for treatment also.

On the first occasion, this neglect reinforced the negative ideas that I had about myself and also supported my belief that my eating wasn't 'that' bad because clearly, the service weren't worried/bothered. It's still very difficult to reconcile the fact that I am ill and needed treatment with the attitude that didn't support me once I did seek help.

On the second occasion, I had to cancel an appointment and tried to make a new one. This eventually led to a delay of 5 weeks between appointments. My clinician was unhappy with this (understandably - I was supposed to be on weekly visits, and had just stepped down from 2/week & regular telephone contact) and I felt unable to share the problems that I'd had making the appointment. Again, this didn't help the therapeutic relationship.

I do wonder if the same callous disregard for ongoing care would be shown to someone with a serious heart condition. As I said, the clinical staff have been excellent; but the barriers to accessing that care (even once 'in the system') are appalling

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Responses

Response from Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust

We are really sorry to hear about your experience and take patient feedback very seriously. Please let us know whether your experience was with the Adult Eating Disorders Service or the CAMHS Eating Disorders Service and we can raise it with the relevant team. In the meanwhile, please feel free to make a formal complaint to customerservices@leicspart.nhs.uk

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Update posted by Aurora357 (the patient)

It's Adult ED services at Forrest Grange (Brandon)