New Eating Disorders ward to become Regional Hub for young people
Young people who suffer with eating disorders will no longer have to travel to Sheffield or Birmingham for specialist treatment from April next year thanks to a new dedicated ward.
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which delivers mental health, learning disability and physical health needs support, is building a specialist ward as part of a new £21m state-of-the-art facility – called Hopewood – currently being built in Foster Drive, Woodthorpe.
The new ward – named Pegasus – will form part of a larger Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Adolescent Unit at Hopewood and will act as a regional eating disorders hub for the East Midlands.The creation of the ward has been welcomed by healthcare staff and former patients alike, including Karen Bailey, of Beeston, who suffered with bulimia for 12 years.
Bulimia is a condition where people try to control their weight by severely restricting the amount of food they eat, then binge eating and before trying to remove the food from their body.
The 25-year-old fought off her eating disorder with the help of her “kickboxing family” at Team Elite Kickboxing (TEK) Academy, on Station Road in Beeston, and credits the sport for saving her life.
Karen, who was named Sports Hero at the Nottingham Post Heroes Awards in October last year, was lucky to receive the support of her friends but said a specialist unit nearby could have made a big difference to her experience.Karen – a qualified teacher – said: “I think it’s a brilliant idea. Unfortunately when I was younger I didn’t get any healthcare help at all. I was lucky enough that it was all managed by people around me supporting me.
“People around me supported me but I know it would have made the journey easier for myself and my support unit around me. For me, I think it would be good if there can be a support system within it where people are helped and supported before it gets to the point where they are admitted”.”I was suffering with bulimia, so my weight never dipped devastatingly low enough for them to admit me but I had a problem for 12 years of my life.”
Karen is now an elite coach at TEK Kickboxing and is part of the management team. She is also a coach for the GB kickboxing team and often travels abroad to events with them.
She said: “I was 24 when I fully stopped. I started managing it better and that was because of the support system through my kickboxing family”.”I’ve worked within the education system so I’ve come across children with eating disorders and they feel very alone. Even when I had it I felt very alone and when people around me tried to support me I felt like they were trying to attack me. It’s crucial that people get that professional help.”
The Pegasus ward will be part of a new CAMHS facility – called the Lookout Adolescent Unit – which will replace the existing Thorneywood Adolescent Unit on Porchester Road, where some patients do receive treatment for eating disorders.
But patients requiring specialist care currently have to travel to Sheffield or Birmingham for treatment – and some have even been admitted to units in Edinburgh.
Alison Newsham-Kent, clinical nurse specialist the CAMHS and adult eating disorder teams, said the unit will accept patients from across the East Midlands.
She said: “The specialist unit will provide something that’s local, which will make a huge difference to our patients because often we have to send them some distance – either Thorneywood is full or we have to have a specialist eating disorders unit.
This new unit will bring care closer to home. That’s a massive advantage to families and also for us because we are an outpatient team. It will mean we can keep closure links. if a young person is in Birmingham or Sheffield it’s really hard for us to maintain that relationship with the young person.”
Mrs Newsham-Kent said Nottinghamshire Healthcare has more than 100 young people who suffer with an eating disorder, eight percent of whom require hospital treatment.
She said: “What’s being found is there is an increase in demand for inpatient beds. This will help ease the pressure, and it will be really important for the region. There’s nothing in Leicester, Lincoln or Derby.”
Hopewood will also be home to a new Perinatal Mother and Baby Unit and a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit.
Source Nottingham Post