Our team is based in Macclesfield; we are a small team consisting of psychological therapists and a dietitian.
We are based within the local CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) which means we also have access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Consultants who can see a young person should their support be needed for the young person’s recovery. We also work closely with GPs who will monitor and review your physical health regularly.
We offer assessment and treatment to young people aged 8-18 years of age with: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Atypical Eating Disorders (eating disorders not otherwise specified). We treat a range of eating disorders from first presentation to ones which are a little more complicated and aim to work with the young person and their family within the community.
We have an evidence base which influences our ethos that early identification and treatment is really important for the recovery of a young person from an Eating Disorder.
If you are worried about yourself or someone else who may have an Eating Disorder it is really important that you see your GP, as reviewing your physical health as early as possible is strongly recommended. When you see your GP they will do the checks they need to do. These may include: taking your blood pressure, pulse and temperature, listening to your breathing and heart and taking some blood. All of these tests are really important to check your physical health during a time of difficulty.
Your GP will be able to decide if they need to make a referral to our team. Once we have received your referral, one of the team will contact you to discuss the referral and some of the information that we would ask and/or need to know is:
- What your concerns are and how long you have been worried about yourself/a young person
- The young person's current weight and height
- An idea of any weight loss and how much in what time period
- If the young person is making themselves sick or taking any medication to try and lose weight. If so it would be helpful to know how often they are doing this
- If you have any concerns about a young person's mood, or if there is a risk that they may be hurting themselves
- Any physical health concerns such as sensitivity to cold, dizziness/fainting, tiredness/weakness, palpitations or shortness of breath
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 9am-5pm.
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.