- 23 May 23
The HSE responded to a Parliamentary Question from Sinn Féin’s mental health spokesperson Mark Ward.
The HSE has confirmed that no additional funding for the development of eating disorder teams will be offered for 2023.
In a response to a Parliamentary Question (PQ) from Sinn Féin’s mental health spokesperson Mark Ward, and first reported in the Journal.ie, the HSE stated that no additional funding will go towards the development new eating disorder teams in this year’s National Service Plan.
Back in January 2021, the HSE confirmed that no new funding was allocated to the national eating disorder treatment plan in 2020. Heavy criticism resulted following the news, with a massive lack of in-patient beds available for people suffering with eating disorders.
The HSE published a National Model of Care for Eating Disorders (MOC) three years previously, in January 2018. There had been no pre-existing dedicated eating disorder infrastructure or strategy prior to this.
The MOC for Eating Disorders plan aimed to establish eight adult and eight CAMHS eating disorder teams that would form the eating disorder network. However, following Ward's Parliamentary Question, it's now been confirmed that just two CAMHS teams and two adults teams are in operation.
No additional funding for eating disorder services in 2023 - @Wardy1916
“The time for planning has passed, now we need action. There cannot be another Budget Day with no additional spending on eating disorder services.”https://t.co/VQcxKcEvSG pic.twitter.com/gZtOP24ZZo
— Sinn Féin (@sinnfeinireland) May 22, 2023
Five teams are reportedly in development. “In addition to the nine teams, CHO 6 CAMHS locally funded and successfully recruited six posts in 2022 to commence an eating disorder team in line with the Model of Care for Eating Disorder Services,” the HSE remarked.
“The recruitment process has been impacted by the challenges in recruitment and retention experienced currently across the health service, especially for consultant psychiatrists and dieticians,” the HSE said in its response.
The State organisation added that €8 million was allocated for eating disorder posts since 2016.
However, in January 2021, Noteworthy reported that the entire amount of 2020′s development funding for eating disorder services was used to cover other areas of mental health provision.
Sinn Féin’s Mark Ward said there is “a lack of ambition and political will to deliver services that are so badly needed in our health system”.
“There are currently only three inpatient beds for eating disorders. I highlighted last month that there is no plan currently to extend that number,” he said.
“It has been five years since the Model of Care for Eating Disorders was published and yet the Government is doing nothing to deliver on this,” the TD added. “This Model of Care was originally a five-year plan, to be implemented by 2023.
“The time for planning has passed, now we need action. There cannot be another Budget Day with no additional spending on eating disorder services.”
Last week, it was reported that efforts are underway to secure a new location for an adult and adolescent eating disorder service in Dublin after the first location was deemed unsuitable.
Currently, the Community Health Organisation Dublin North City and County’s adult eating disorder team is based temporarily in Maryfield Cottage in Swords, having opened there in January. It had been planned to locate the service in Griffith Ave, along with an adolescent eating disorder team.
Bodywhys: The Eating Disorders Association of Ireland - Helpline: (01) 2107906