Our team in West Cheshire is a small team which covers children and young people who are registered with a general practitioner in the West Cheshire area. The team consists of psychological therapists, a dietitian and access to doctors who can see a young person to discuss the benefits of medication to support their recovery.
We treat a range of eating disorders from first presentation to severe. Treatment programmes are evidence-based care packages tailored to meet the needs of service users and their carers. We offer assessment and treatment to people with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or mixed eating disorder symptoms (eating disorders not otherwise specified).
If you are concerned about yourself, a family member or young person who you suspect may be developing an eating disorder then please ring the relevant number above and you will be put through to the duty professional.
Contacting either number will enable you to speak to an experienced mental health clinician who will ask you a number of questions: to find out more about your concerns and gather information. This will help the clinician make a decision about whether the young person needs to see someone from the Eating Disorder team, another member of the wider CAMHS team or whether another service would better meet their needs.
Once it is agreed that the young person will be seen by the Eating Disorder team then you will be asked (if this has not already happened) to ensure that the young person is seen by their GP. This is to make sure that certain tests are completed to ensure that their physical health is stable and they do not need any urgent medical treatment.
The West Eating Disorder team will then send an appointment to the young person and their family and will ensure that they are seen within 28 calendar days after the referral has been accepted.
It can be very scary for a young person and family to come and talk to strangers about their worries and concerns. We understand this and try to put the young person and family at their ease when they first attend. Our aim is to try and understand what the concerns are, the goals that the young person wants help with, and think about what we may be able to do to help them achieve these goals.
You will usually meet with one or two members of the team and at first we will meet with you all as a family to explain what will happen at the assessment and check if you have any questions you want to ask us. This first appointment can take up to one and a half hours.
We will spend time together understanding what the concerns are, how long they have been going on for and what impact they are having on both the young person and the rest of the family.
There will usually be the opportunity for the young person to be seen on their own, and also for parents / carers to see someone. This allows everyone the opportunity to talk separately about their worries so we can understand everyone’s perspective.
We will also need to weigh the young person and check their height. This is so we can work out whether their weight is within the normal range for their age and height.
Some of the information that the teams will need to know is:
- What your concerns are and how long you have been worried about the young person
- Their current weight and height
- An idea of any weight loss and how much in what period
- If the young person is making themselves sick or taking any medication to try to lose weight. If so, it would be helpful to know how often they are doing this
- If you have any concerns about mood, any risk that they may hurting themselves
- Any physical health concerns such as sensitivity to cold, dizziness/fainting, tiredness/weakness, palpitations or shortness of breath
We will all meet together at the end of the appointment. If we decide that the young person does need treatment with our team then they and their family will be given a full explanation of what will happen in treatment, when and where they will be seen and who needs to come.
If we decide not to offer treatment then we may give advice and then see the young person and their family in a few weeks’ time to see if they have made progress and decide whether they need to be seen again.
If we decide that we are not the right service then we will talk about what services can help and how to access them.
A letter will then be sent to your GP, the person who referred you and yourselves with a summary of the assessment and the agreed plan.