Mark Ward T.D. is very concerned about the lack of public inpatient treatment for adults presenting with eating disorders such as those presenting with anorexia and bulimia. Teachta Ward raised this issue directly with the Tainiste during promised legislation recently after a response he received from a parliamentary question stated that there were only 3 specialist inpatient eating disorders in the state.
Teachta Ward said: “I was contacted recently by the family of a young woman who has been battling with an eating disorder. The young woman disclosed to me that she needs specialist treatment for an eating disorder.
“What has happened in the past is that the young woman gets referred to a generic adult mental health unit. She is kept in until her body mass index is increased. She is then discharged back to the community without any specialist help. “This pattern has repeated itself numerous times. This is not a unique case and is an indication of systemic failures in this area of health treatment.
“ A response I received from a parliamentary question I submitted was shocking. “It stated that there are currently only 3 impatient beds for adults in the state for eating disorder. To compel this dearth of services, these 3 beds are only available to those in the catchment area of CHO area 6. In other parts of the HSE adult patients are currently admitted to local general adult mental health units. “I raised this issue directly with the Tainiste and have asked the Minister for Health to immediately put in place the long-awaited Government plan to have 8 adult Eating Disorder teams across the country in line with Model of Care for Eating Disorders. “3 dedicated inpatient eating disorder beds across the state is a pathetic response to such a serious problem”.