Frequently Asked Questions

What is an eating disorder?

An eating disorder can be best described as an abnormal pattern of eating behaviour, accompanied by marked worries about food or body size, which may interfere with the person’s usual way of life and often results in noticeable weight loss. Eating disorders can be triggered by a variety of causes such as genetics, psychological and/or social influences. More often they are a way of coping with difficult thoughts, emotions, or experiences. Eating disorders involve disturbances in eating behaviour, as well as feelings of distress or extreme concern about body shape and /or weight. Such disturbances can put physical health and functioning at risk.

What are your wait times?

We aim for our wait times to be in line with Access & Waiting Time Standards. For your initial appointment, these aim to be:
•    Adults: Urgent within 1 week. Routine within 4 weeks.
•    Children and Young People: Emergency within 24 hours. Urgent within 1 week. Routine within 4 weeks. 

How do I make a complaint?

Should you wish to make a complaint/ compliment then please contact PALS

What support will I be offered/What will my treatment plan look like?

All care plans are individual based upon the needs of the young person or adult. Your treatment plan will depend on your presentation and needs. Your treatment will be evidence based (following NICE - National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidelines). 

How long will therapy be? / How long will I be supported for?

We understand that individuals and their families may want to know how long their treatment will be. However, all care plans are individual based upon the needs of the young person or adult. Treatment and recovery will look different for every individual, and therefore we cannot know exact timelines. Your clinician may be able to give an estimate based on your treatment plan, for example, if it has been decided that you will engage in a short-term piece of work, such as groupwork or guided self-help. 

Will I be made to go to a specialist unit?

For most of our patients, we can support you and treat your eating disorder while you are at home. However, in some cases where significant risk is involved, it may be in the patient’s best interest to request an acute hospital assessment or specialist eating disorder unit admission. If admitted, our team will liaise with the treating service for updates on your progress.

What is “Weight for Height” and why is it used?

The height and weight calculator helps calculate the ideal height and weight of children according to their age and gender. We use it to keep track and give recommendations. 

Why can’t my child have individual therapy?

NICE guidelines recommend a family-based approach for children and young people (e.g., Family Therapy for AN). In some cases, individual input may be offered, depending on the situation.