NHS East of England Clinical Network Eating Disorders Conference

The first eating disorder conference has been held with over 100 delegates attending the event at the Hallmark Hotel in Cambridgeshire. These delegates, representing a wide range of people with an eating disorder, enjoyed a number of presentations and workshops.

The keynote presentation was given by Dr Dasha Nicholls, who chairs the Eating Disorders Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Dr Nicolls drew attention to the progress that had been made with children and young people, however she did not shirk responsibility from the challenges ahead including parity for adult services and all doctors being confident to recognise eating disorders.

Presentations were given throughout the day from the perspectives of schools, primary care, the voluntary sector, community services, inpatient provision and acute provision. These presentations brought together a range of agencies for joint training, and to develop a shared understanding. They addressed key recommendations in the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s report into avoidable deaths from eating disorders Ignoring the alarms’ (2018), in order to improve outcomes for service users and carers.

Finally, a panel of service users and carers spoke passionately about what matters most to them. One of the service users said that the day was “invaluable, amazing, insightful and moving”.

Keith Grimwade, Independent Chair of the East of England Clinical Network for Eating Disorders, said:  “This event was a great success, bringing together the agencies involved in improving outcomes for service users and their careers. “There were great workshops, very informative presentations and it was a good networking opportunity.”