Two teams with specialist doctors have been set up to improve services for people with eating disorders in Wales.
The teams – one in the north of the country and one in the south – will work in tandem with social services, GP surgeries, child and adolescent mental health services as well as community mental health teams.
The service will receive funding of £500,000 for recruitment and training this year, with £1 million every subsequent year to run the teams.
According to Welsh Health Minister Edwina Hart, a “small, but extremely vulnerable” number of patients with eating disorders have been denied the help they need in the past.
In the last week, three NHS bodies were criticised for wrangling over money and forcing a mother and daughter to use their savings to pay for life-saving treatment.
The girl from South Wales became depressed and developed anorexia while staying with a friend in England.
Concerns were raised about the adequacy of provision for patients with eating disorders in Wales by the joint investigation by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales and Health Service Ombudsman for England.
According to the Assembly Government, the plans will simplify the system by standardising the criteria for referring patients to other services.
Copyright © Press Association 2009