Eating disorders and young people

Our aims

  • The three service providers are looking at new ways of working together to share learning and improve care for young people admitted to paediatric wards with eating disorders.
  • We continue to strive to meet the access and waiting time standard alongside the increased demands due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on children and young people.
  • Working with commissioners and all Greater Manchester stakeholders to ensure delivery of the Greater Manchester Community Eating Disorder Services (CEDS) service specification that has been developed and agreed by the three main providers.
  • Increase support for children and young people living with Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) in Greater Manchester.

Download our flyer  Children and young people with suspected eating disorders 28 January 2022 for more information about services

Why this matters

Eating disorders (Anorexia nervosa, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders) are very complex psychiatric disorders.

Eating disorders are a range of complex conditions which typically present in mid-teens and have adverse effects physically, psychologically and socially on a young person. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric conditions.

Children and young people make up a third of the Greater Manchester population and it is forecasted that the 0 -15-year-old cohort will be one of the fastest growing groups over the next 5 years. The Office for National Statistics population estimates projects by 2025 there will be over 732,000 0-19 years’ olds in Greater Manchester.

Eating disorders are characterised by a preoccupation with food, weight, body shape and harmful eating patterns.  They have a high cost to individuals and their families/carers in terms of emotional impact, disruption to education and employment and in their access to physical and emotional wellbeing and mental health services through their life span.

The availability of dedicated, community eating disorder services has been shown to improve outcomes and cost effectiveness. If a child or young person starts their treatment in a general child and adolescent mental health services, they’re more likely to be admitted to an inpatient service than those treated in community eating disorder settings within the following year.

To support the progress in maintaining alignment to the national targets, the Greater Manchester community eating disorders service steering group has developed a Greater Manchester service specification which was signed off by all ten clinical commissioning groups in November 2020. This has been developed to implement uniformity in service provision across the region and to facilitate greater partnership working between the three community eating disorder service providers.

What we’ve achieved so far 

  • Greater Manchester’s waiting times are better than both the northwest and national averages for routine and urgent cases (at December 2021)
  • A reviewed Greater Manchester community eating disorders service specification
  • Greater Manchester focused training for the three service providers through the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership has promoted joint working
  • Strategic engagement between service providers and all stakeholders to promote an integrated care system approach
  • Extension of the Beat Nexus programme to support parents/carers/families of young people with an eating disorder
  • Trial of home-based treatment, community NG feeding clinic and community refeeding programmes at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

What’s next

  • All teams achieving national targets for the access and waiting time target of 95% for urgent cases being seen within a week and routine cases being seen within four weeks
  • Working together to meet expected increased demand which will involve new ways of working
  • Expanded engagement with all stakeholders particularly the voluntary sector and young people with lived experience as well as a focus on reaching young people from communities that experience racial inequalities
  • Access to paediatric support and develop a service to meet the needs of children and young people with Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
  • Sharing the learning from Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s community refeeding and home-based treatment pilots
  • Development of GM inpatient principles to support children and young people admitted to hospital as well as the application of the new Medical Emergencies in Eating Disorders (MEED) guidelines from the Royal College of Psychiatrists across the three main providers and services