Our team in Central Cheshire is a small team, which covers children and young people who are registered with a general practitioner in the South Cheshire and Vale Royal areas.

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).

Contacting either advice line 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 Central 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.

We will meet at the CAMHS clinic in Macclesfield where you will be greeted by the reception staff who will take your name and who you are seeing (the Eating Disorders Team) so they can let us know that you have arrived.

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.

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. We are also interested in the goals that the young person and their family want help with, and think about what we or other services may be able to do to help you achieve these goals.

There will usually be the opportunity for the young person to be seen on their own, and also for parents/carers to see someone too. 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 measure their height. This is so we can work out whether their weight is within the normal range for their age.

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. We are based in the CAMHS clinic in Macclesfield and we try to be as flexible as possible with the appointments we offer Monday to Friday 9:00 until 5:00pm.

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.

The packages of care are talking based therapies, which the evidence for successfully working with a young person with an Eating Disorder, suggests that working with the young person and their family within the community offers the best outcomes. However, we tailor the package of care based on the needs of the young person and their family and we will work together to find the best way to support you through this difficult time.

While food and eating is likely to be one of the most difficult areas of life for you all at the moment, food is the medicine for someone with an Eating Disorder and the therapy will help you all to support the young person in this journey.

We have a single point of access (the Children & Young Person (CYP) Wellbeing Hub) who can offer advice to professionals and families and carers on weekdays, Monday and Friday from 1:00pm until 5:00pm. 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 CYP Wellbeing Hub advice line on 01606 555120.

In addition, there is an out of hours advice line which is available Monday to Friday between 5:00pm and 10:00pm and 12:00pm and 8:00pm at weekends. The out of hours number is 01244 397644.