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