Eating Disorders in NSW Budget

Fed Up NSW Health welcomes the proposed allocation of approx $1.6M to increase eating disorder services. We feel encouraged by this announcement and look forward to hearing a more detailed analysis of funding when the State Budget is released on Tuesday. While Fed Up NSW Health encourages funding for early Read more

Fed Up Inquiry Submissions

Fed Up NSW Health is pleased to report we are seeking your submissions of treatment you've experienced in Australia. Submissions will be due 12/02/2013. The Government isn't prioritising eating disorders, nor have they committed to in inquiry. Fed Up doesn't believe there's time to wait. We are seeking written submissions Read more

Andrea's Story

For those who have experienced an eating disorder, the stories section may be triggering for you. If you feel you have the potential to be upset, please do not read. If you are upset, please reach out to your support network or contact Lifeline - available 24/7 - on Read more

Mady's Story

For those who have experienced an eating disorder, the stories section may be triggering for you. If you feel you have the potential to be upset, please do not read. If you are upset, please reach out to your support network or contact Lifeline - available 24/7 - on Read more

Keeli & Molly's Story

For those who have experienced an eating disorder, the stories section may be triggering for you. If you feel you have the potential to be upset, please do not read. If you are upset, please reach out to your support network or contact Lifeline - available 24/7 - on Read more

Brianna's Story

For those who have experienced an eating disorder, the stories section may be triggering for you. If you feel you have the potential to be upset, please do not read. If you are upset, please reach out to your support network or contact Lifeline - available 24/7 - on Read more

Going Forward…

Posted on by admin in Home Page Posts, Ministers | Comments Off

Fed Up NSW Health is excited to announce that we recently met with shadow Mental Health Minister Barbara Perry to discuss eating disorders in the NSW Community. She was supportive of our campaign and felt our frustrations that services are inadequate. She has placed questions on notice to the Minister for Mental Health to clarify answers in our previous questions placed on notice by Shadow Health Minister Dr Andrew McDonald.

Minister for Mental Health, Kevin Humphries, has not yet responded to our request to meet with him.

Fed Up NSW Health will also be meeting with Federal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, shadow Mental Health Minister, on Tuesday 2/7 to discuss eating disorders as a national issue with her. While we will be highlighting the ongoing issue of the lack of treatment access for those suffering eating disorders in NSW, we will also be discussing with her the issues that are faced nationally, for those trying to obtain both inpatient, outpatient care and ongoing support to maintain wellness.

 

 

Eating Disorders in NSW Budget

Posted on by admin in Featured, Home Page Posts | Comments Off

Fed Up NSW Health welcomes the proposed allocation of approx $1.6M to increase eating disorder services. We feel encouraged by this announcement and look forward to hearing a more detailed analysis of funding when the State Budget is released on Tuesday.

While Fed Up NSW Health encourages funding for early intervention and prevention services, we would like to remind the Government that there are still 23 acutely ill patients on the waiting list needing care and countless more still suffering in our community. It is important the Government not forget those who are currently suffering, their families, friends and treatment professionals, in their efforts to minimise the impact of future eating disorders on the community.

After years of bed and funding cuts to eating disorder services, today’s announcement of the funding increase is a step in the right direction. Fed Up NSW Health applauds this effort and is pleased that eating disorders receive a significant mention in the budget.

Further information on the proposed budget increases to eating disorder services can be found via the Sydney Morning Herald here.

Eating Disorders Acute Care Access At Crisis

Posted on by admin in eating disorders, Home Page Posts | Comments Off

MEDIA RELEASE
Eating Disorders Acute Care Access At Crisis

For Distribution 6 May 2013

A source inside the only statewide NSW Public Adult Eating Disorders Program, located at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney has revealed that well over 20 of the sickest patients in the state – critically underweight and severely medically unstable – are waiting for treatment. These patients may be waiting for the acute care they desperately need for up to 3.5 years instead of the days or weeks that would be appropriate for their level of illness. The current allocation of beds means that current inpatient services won’t be available to anyone for months, says consumer advocacy group Fed Up NSW Health.

“We’ve been contacted by a number of patients, their carers and psychologists. Some of the patients want care, others may need treatment involuntarily – regardless, with some people being told that they have up to 28 very unwell people ahead of them or their client on the list, these patients are only being afforded the opportunity to become more and more unwell, not to recover.” Says Ella Graham, spokesperson for Fed Up NSW Health. “NSW Health is simply refusing to adequately deal with this crisis.”

In all the correspondence Fed Up NSW Health has received, the government has categorically denied the issue is as serious as it is and repeatedly states that hospitalisation is rarely required for patients with eating disorders. “Yet,” Graham states, “we are being told hospitalisation simply isn’t an option for the vast majority of patients because of the strict conditions on the waiting list. By the time patients are in the kind of state it takes to get on the list, they aren’t well enough to be accepted by any of the eating disorder programs in the private hospitals.”

Fed Up NSW Health is calling for NSW Health to immediately address the backlog on the waiting list in order to prevent the deterioration or death of any of the patients currently waiting for treatment. Furthermore, Fed Up NSW Health is calling for NSW Health to work cohesively with clinicians, relevant NGOs, consumers and carers in order to prevent such a backlog from recurring, and denying the most acutely ill in the eating disorders community access to life saving care.

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. One in five anorexia patients will die within a decade, and these disorders cost the Australian Economy nearly $70 billion annually, according to recent research by The Butterfly Foundation.

Perhaps with adequate access to treatment that one in five might stay alive.
Media Contact – Ella Graham – 0402453843
Twitter – #1in5ED #FedUp @FedUpNSWHealth
Facebook – www.facebook.com/FedUpNSWHealth
www.fedupnswhealth.com

A Template Letter For Your Use

Posted on by admin in eating disorders, Health, Home Page Posts, Ministers | Comments Off

You are very welcome to use the petition letter as a template to send to your local member or Ministers Skinner (Health) or Humphries (Mental Health) themselves.

Re: It’s time to provide adequate care for eating disorders patients in NSW

Dear__________

It’s time to provide adequate care for eating disorders patients in NSW

For the state of NSW there are currently 2 acute inpatient beds. This has been reduced from the initial & inadequate 4 beds in 2010. With the creation of the National Eating Disorders Coalition in early 2009, the profile of eating disorders was supposed to be raised, yet in this time we have seen a decrease in the number of acute beds available to eating disorders patients in the state of NSW.

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness; according to The Butterfly Foundation, the mortality rate of anorexia nervosa is 15-20%, with those with anorexia 32 times more likely to suicide than their healthy peers. Statistics for other eating disorders (bulimia nervosa & EDNOS) are poorly researched but outcomes are estimated to be on par with that of anorexia nervosa. The average duration of treatment is 7 years. Eating disorders come in all shapes & sizes. The biomedical approach to care means that patients in the public system are treated when most physically unwell (usually in a state of anorexia nervosa), leaving the illness to most often be treated as a physical illness & not a mental illness. “The health and socio-economic costs are also high with bulimia and anorexia being the 8th and 10th leading causes respectively of burden of disease and injury in young women (18 -24 years) in Australia, measured by disability-adjusted life years (10) and the percentage of disability-adjusted life years associated with eating disorders being comparable to schizophrenia.” (The Butterfly Foundation, Eating Disorders Statistics).

The reality is that eating disorders are a mental illness with dire physical consequences. With adequate early intervention, there needn’t be a high mortality rate, nor should there be physical complication associated with a mental disorder.

According to the Centre for Eating & Dieting Disorders website (run through the University of Sydney & from Royal Prince Alfred Hospital itself) “2 beds in an acute psychiatric unit for people with severe anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa who have already accessed local Area primary, secondary & tertiary services. Available to adults from any AHS [Area Health Service] in NSW.” and what conditions are provided care under this particular inpatient service? “AN, BN, EDNOS (although due to service pressure usually reserved for severe cases of AN and BN) ” Further information on the RPAH inpatient unit here: http://www.cedd.org.au/?id=272

RPAH also offers a day program & an outpatient program. Both with extensive waiting lists. When people are acutely unwell, there is no time for waiting lists. The Statewide Eating Disorders Outpatient program is open for half a day per week, with the expectation that this will service the entire state of NSW’s eating disorder patients.

The Westmead Hospital offers three inpatient beds, but to be accessed the patient must reside in the Westmead Hospital catchment area. Inadequate for the high level of need for the program & of no assistance to anyone living outside of the Westmead Catchment.

The treatment provided for eating disorders is similar to an Oncologist saying “look I know you’ve got breast cancer, but before you can get any treatment for it, we’ll have to wait for it to metastasizes to your spine & if you want any intensive treatment, we’ll have to wait until it’s in your liver & lungs also because we can only offer treatment to the most acutely ill in the state.” That would be considered ludicrous & front page news, yet patients are knocked back for treatment or provided inadequate treatment on an almost daily basis.

We the undersigned request the following:
- A comprehensive and independent review of public eating disorders treatment in NSW be made immediately.

- The original four eating disorders beds at RPAH be reinstated immediately with an agreement to expand the available beds for eating disorders patients in the next two years be reached within the all of the hospital networks in NSW.

- The Statewide Eating Disorders Outpatient services at Royal Prince Alfred be opened a minimum of 3 days per week (instead of the initial 1/2 day per week) to reduce waiting times & provide adequate assessment & follow up for patients.

- A study of relapse & readmission rates to hospital (including follow up & emergency treatment in emergency departments & on medical wards) be undertaken.

- That comprehensive eating disorders services be available in all area health services, not only Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (SSWAHS) & Westmead Hospital (SWAHS).

- Further more, outpatient services have a waiting period of no longer than one month.

- Health practitioners are provided comprehensive training in assessing & identifying eating disorders – particularly geared towards early intervention.

- That patients admitted to medical wards, emergency departments or psychiatric wards who have an eating disorder are identified & documented so accurate statistics on eating disorders patients & hospital presentations are available.

- That the Worldwide Charter for Action on Eating Disorders is stringently adhered to (please see here: http://www.aedweb.org/source/charter/documents/WWCharter4.pdf)

- That the current legalities surrounding involuntary treatment of eating disorders patients be revised to make it easier for health professionals to involuntarily detain or involve patients in treatment services.

- That an inquiry into treatment eating disorder related deaths in the state of NSW be made immediately & any recommended outcomes implemented.

It is time that eating disorders become a state priority & changes be implemented immediately to increase the care available to eating disorders patients, their family, friends & treating health professionals.
—————-

Sincerely,

[Your name]