Daily Mail

Waiting list has quadrupled for under-19s with eating disorders

- By Shaun Wooller Health Correspond­ent

THE number of children and young adults waiting for eating disorder treatment on the NHS has quadrupled in 12 months.

There were 1,832 under-19s waiting at the end of June – up from 441 at the same time last year, figures show.

The Royal College of Psychiatri­sts warned services are struggling to provide timely treatment in the face of ‘overwhelmi­ng’ demand. This has been fuelled by the pandemic, which has disrupted home and school life and led to isolation from friends and family.

There were 207 under-19s waiting for treatment classed as urgent at the end of June. This too has almost quadrupled in a year, from 56 in June 2020. It is now at the highest level since records began in 2016.

The number of children and young adults starting routine treatment for disorders hit a high of 2,600 between April and June. This compares to 1,347 during the same period in 2020, NHS England data shows.

Dr Agnes Ayton, of the RCP, said: ‘The pandemic has had a huge impact on young people. Many have not received support early enough, causing their eating disorders to become much worse.’

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