Councillors visit CPFT's eating disorder services

Helping people to understand and seek help is vital vows chair of health committee

Councillors visit CPFT's eating disorder services
11 August 2018

The chair of Cambridgeshire’s County Council's health committee has said helping people to understand and seek help for eating disorders is vitally important.

Cllr Peter Hudson made the comments after visiting the Adult Eating Disorder Service run by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

Cllr Hudson accompanied by Cllr Lynda Harford, who also sits on the health committee, met with CEO Tracy Dowling, Director of Operations Julie Frake-Harris and consultant psychiatrist Dr Jaco Serfontein, who runs CPFT’s adult inpatient eating disorder ward which is based within Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.

During the visit the councillors were given an overview into the causes of eating disorders and the treatments and support available to people in Cambridgeshire via CPFT's community and in-patient teams, and also in Norfolk where CPFT runs the Norfolk Community Eating Disorder Service.

They heard how staff work in partnership with patients and their families, and how spotting the signs of an eating disorder as early as possible is vital in ensuring a full recovery.

Following the visit in which the councillors also spoke to staff and patients at the S3 inpatient ward, Cllr Hudson said: “It has brought home how important it is as a health committee - on a public health perspective - is to get the message out there to all our residents how they can recognise and what they can do about any form of eating disorder.”

According to eating disorder charity, Beat approximately 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder.

Research from the NHS information centre has shown that up to 6.4 per cent of adults have signs of an eating disorder with the main eating disorders being as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder.

Beat has said although many eating disorders develop during adolescence, it is not at all unusual for people to develop eating disorders earlier or later in life.

Research carried out in Australia suggests that the average duration of anorexia is eight years and five years for bulimia.  However, these illnesses can also become severe and enduring, lasting for many years and having a hugely debilitating effect on the sufferers and their families. The sooner someone gets the treatment they need, the more likely they are to make a full recovery.

Beat says research has shown that around 46 per cent of anorexia patients fully recover, with 33 per cent classed as improving and 20% remain chronically ill.

Similar research into bulimia suggests that 45 per cent make a full recovery, 27 per cent improve considerably and 23 per cent suffer chronically.

Beat says anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, from medical complications associated with the illness as well as suicide.  Bulimia is associated with severe medical complications, and binge eating disorder sufferers often experience the medical complications associated with obesity.  In every case, eating disorders severely affect the quality of life of the sufferer and those that care for them.

(Pictured above (left to right) are: CPFT CEO Tracy Dowling, Cllr Lynda Harford, Dr Jaco Serfontein, Cllr Peter Hudson, and Director Operations Julie Frake-Harris)


For more information please contact:

Andy Burrows
Media and Marketing Manager
T 01223 219467

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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