An additional funding of £5 million will be provided to NHS Ayrshire & Arran and Scotland’s other health boards to help expand the treatments available to people with eating disorders.
Some investment, which comes from the SNP Government’s Mental Health Recovery and Renewal Fund, will also be allocated to Beat, the UK’s Eating Disorder Charity, to provide a wide range of support options to families and carers people affected, as well as support for children, young people and adults.
An Implementation Group will also be established. It will be jointly chaired by former MSP Dennis Robertson, who has campaigned for greater awareness of eating disorders since his daughter Caroline tragically died of anorexia nervosa in 2011. A clinical co-chair will be confirmed at a later date.
The funding and the Implementation Group are recommendations of the National Review of Eating Disorder Services which was published in March.
Mental Wellbeing Minister Kevin Stewart MSP said:
“Sadly, we have seen an increase in young people needing treatment for eating disorders since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This additional funding will go some way to making sure they have the support they need.
“The funding will help NHS boards and Beat to further develop the services on offer. I look forward to working with Dennis and the clinical co-chair to ensure the right support is in place.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“Eating disorders can insidiously sneak up on people and the coronavirus pandemic has led to more challenging circumstances.
“These conditions require very specific treatment and support, and I look forward to seeing the progress being made.
“If you are or know someone who is concerned about their relationship with food, visit www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk or contact your GP.”