A year since becoming one of four NHS Child and Adolescent Specialist Eating Disorder centres, Birmingham Children’s Hospital are celebrating a 100% success rate in helping young people to get back to a healthy weight.
Over the last 12 months, the team on the Irwin Ward at Parkview in Moseley have helped over 20 young people who have been admitted with an eating disorder.
The dedicated 12 bedded unit treats 12 – 18 year olds with eating disorders. The majority of the admissions are for the treatment of anorexia nervosa which affects approximately one in 150 15 year old females and one in 1,000 15 year old males.
90% of the patients that are seen by the eating disorder team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital are female.
The success of the last twelve months is testament to the team’s commitment to not only working with the young people themselves but also their families.
Dan O’Mara, Manager of Irwin Ward at Parkview, said: "We expect parents to play a key part in the recovery. Parents are an enormously important resource, they are experts in their children and we have to harness that expertise in order for the child to survive. "
"Children with cancer are openly talked about but eating disorders are less acceptable in society and to some extent hidden away. Children feel shameful and parents feel guilty."
Young people are given a clear timetable to follow, expected to eat a variety of different foods with the support of the experienced, patient and tolerant staff. They can take part in individual, group and family therapy, have prescribed rest and education and, in appropriate cases, they are treated with drugs.
"When they come to us things are pretty bad. We tell them things have to change. The aim is to help them reach a healthy weight, while enabling young people and their families to regain control over their lives," Dan added.
This week is eating disorder awareness week. For more information about eating disorders please see http://www.b-eat.co.uk/
Notes to Editors
· Anorexia Nervosa affects approximately 1 in 150 fifteen-year-old females, and 1 in 1000 fifteen-year-old males.
· Approximately 1 percent of 16 to 18 year olds have anorexia
· Approximately 11 people in 100,000 develop anorexia nervosa each year
· 1-2 percent of young women are thought to be anorexic at any one time.
· Approximately 10 percent of cases of anorexia arise in men
· The highest rates of anorexia are seen in female teenagers aged between 13 and 19, with 51 per 100,000 cases being seen each year.