GPs are failing people with eating disorders, says charity

Half of people with experience of condition rate GPs’ care as poor, survey finds | The Guardian

10789-2.jpg

GPs are routinely failing to provide adequate care to patients with eating disorders, with one in three not referred for specialist assistance, a leading charity has warned.

Beat, the UK’s primary eating disorder charity, found that half of people with some experience of the condition rated GP care as “poor” or “very poor” and 30% were not referred to mental health services after their appointment.

The charity polled 1,700 people, the majority of whom had sought medical help for an eating disorder. Of the 1,267 who had gone to a GP for help, only 34% said they felt their doctor knew how to treat them.

Read the full news story here

Read the survey results from Beat here

Patterns of referral and waiting times for specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Smith, J. et al. Child & Adolescent Mental Health. Published online: 9 February 2017

umbrella-170962_960_720.jpg

Background: During 12-month period (2012/13) around 21,480 children and young people (CYP) were referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Scotland (NHS Scotland, 2013, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services waiting times in Scotland). At the end of September 2012, there were 3,602 CYP still waiting for ‘start of treatment’ or ‘removal from the waiting list’, 375 (10%) CYP had waited over 26 weeks and 1,204 (33%) CYP had waited over 18 weeks (NHS Scotland, 2013, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services waiting times in Scotland). Referral source, referral reason and the sociodemographic characteristics of CYP are not routinely collected, and therefore, associations between these factors and wait times for ‘start of treatment’ or ‘removal from the waiting list’ (i.e. the referral outcome) are unknown.

Conclusions: Policymakers should consider ways to foster dialogue and collaboration between different groups of professionals making and accepting referrals to CAMHS in order to improve timely access to appropriate mental health support services for CYP. Research is urgently needed to investigate the experiences of CYP who are either rejected by CAMHS or wait lengthy periods of time before starting their treatment with CAMHS.

Read the full abstract here

Children and Young People’s Mental Health: State of the Nation

Perraudin, F. The Guardian. Published online: 11th April 2016.

A report from the liberal thinktank CentreForum shows that mental healthcare providers refuse to treat an average of 23% of the under-18s referred to them by concerned parents, GPs, teachers and others.

The analysis also reveals that the longest waiting times endured by users of child and adolescent mental health services have doubled in the last two years, with waiting times of up to two and a half years reported.

centreforum2

Image source: CentreForum

Among the reasons reported for turning under-18s away included services feeling they lacked the capacity to deal with the problem, the child or young person not having being unwell for a long enough period of time or their condition not yet being serious enough.

centreforum

Image source: CentreForum

Researchers found some services denied support to children and young people with anorexia if their body mass index (BMI) was not under a certain threshold. Other services referred people to more generic support unless they had “enduring suicidal ideation”, meaning they had to have expressed a desire to kill themselves on more than one occasion to access more specialist services.

Download the full report here

Read the full commentary here