Dec 11
New Plan Focuses On People With Eating Disorders

People from throughout the Western NSW Local Health District are being consulted about access, assessment and treatment for Eating Disorders through an online survey.

Survey results will be used to support the work being done at a local level under the NSW Service Plan for People with Eating Disorders 2013-18. The Plan underpins NSW Health’s commitment to improving access to treatment for people with eating disorders in NSW.

In August, the Western NSW Local Health District established an Eating Disorder Steering Committee to identify current access points into services for people with eating disorders; identify major gaps in what services are being delivered and workforce capacity; and to develop a local service plan for eating disorders to guide current and planned service provision which is supported with an appropriate and sufficient workforce.

In October, the steering committee met with Health District staff, local education providers and GPs to discuss these issues. The next step is taking this consultation externally to consumers through the survey, which is now open and closes on Monday, 18 January.

The survey will address:

·         access points;

·         timeliness of assessment and treatment;

·         opinion regarding health professional knowledge and skills;

·         case management and multidisciplinary care;

·         assessment and treatment; and

·         ideas for improvement.

Director of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Inpatient unit Dr Susan Blinkhorn, who sits on the Eating Disorder Steering Committee, said eating disorders are potentially fatal illnesses, with one of the highest mortality rates of any mental illness.

“Eating disorders can affect anyone at any time in their life, but it’s never too late or too soon to seek advice and help - and you don’t need to be sick,” she said.

Dr Blinkhorn said the Health District’s EatingDisorder Steering Committee supports NSW Health’s commitmentto change the system and build the workforce so  more people get the right support at the right time,  ensuring there is no ‘wrong door’ for patients seeking help.

“People with eating disorders can make good recoveries with the right treatment and sustained support, but we need to know how we can best deliver this so consultation is key,” Dr Blinkhorn said.

“We strongly encourage people who have an eating disorder and their families to complete the online survey so that we can help people recover as quickly as possible”.

To access the survey, please visit

The survey closes on 18 January.

For more information about the survey please contact Eating Disorder Network Coordinator Ashley Macpherson at Further information about eating disorders is available at the Centre for Eating and Dieting Disorders website at the Butterfly Foundation for Eating Disorders website at