New service for eating disorders

Adults with eating disorders in the county are being promised improved care when a new service starts this summer.

Adults with eating disorders in the county are being promised improved care when a new service starts this summer.

Over the past five months a number of organisations have been bidding to take over the service which will care for people over the age of 18 with anorexia or bulimia.

The board of NHS Norfolk will be asked to ratify details of the contract when it meets next Wednesday but it will be a 'number of weeks' before the name of the organisation/s which won the contract can be made public so final negotiations can take place.

NHS Norfolk bosses have been reviewing the eating disorder service in the county following the death of teenager Charlotte Robinson from anorexia.

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The 18-year-old from Worstead, near North Walsham, died aged 18 in 2007 after her weight plummeted to just five-and-a-half stone.

Her parents Chris and Pauline have since been urging health chiefs to act urgently to further deaths from eating disorders after their daughter, an A level student, lost more than a third of her body weight as she struggled to cope with the illness.

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Greater Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong ruled at Charlotte's inquest that 'inappropriate delays' in her treatment and assessment reduced the likelihood of recovery and recommended improvements by NHS Norfolk and the Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Trust.

Mr Robinson said: 'This new service must be welcomed but also remembered that it only happened after a complaint and an internal enquiry followed by an inquest.'

David Stonehouse, deputy chief executive for NHS Norfolk, said: 'The aim of the new Community Eating Disorders Service is to ensure people who suffer from eating disorders are identified as early as possible and are helped to recover in the community with their friends and family around them, where they are able to lead a normal life. This is essential to aid a full recovery.'

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