Eating Disorders Team – Gloucestershire
Contacting the Eating Disorders Service
The Eating Disorders Service
St Pauls Medical Complex
Telephone: 01242 634242
Our Community Team are the first point of contact for anyone coming into the service. The team complete initial assessments and offer advice and guidance to GPs, practice nurses and carers.
Once an initial assessment has been completed the team work with the individual to decide the best course of action.
The team also work very closely with GPs to ensure physical health is monitored, for example asking for GPs to undertake blood tests.
Child and adolescent home treatment
Most young people who come into the Eating Disorders Service are treated on an out-patient basis. This would happen in the clinic, with a therapy called “Family Based Treatment”. This is an evidence-based treatment, provided by a senior clinician in weekly sessions for the young person and their parents/family.
If a child and/or their parents are struggling with progressing with this treatment for any reason, they may be referred to the Child and Adolescent Home Treatment Team (ChAHTT).
We offer this bolt-on support, as a complementary addition to the family based treatment; when clinic sessions have not been enough to establish adequate eating, and progress towards weight restoration and health is therefore hindered. In such circumstances the young person is often at risk of requiring hospital admission.
We therefore aim to prevent this by providing intensive therapeutic support, before, during and after specifically timetabled meals, to the young person and their family in their home. We offer 6 weeks of support, starting off more intensively, and then reducing our contacts week by week according to the family’s needs.
We know that often the young person does not see that there is a problem; and we know that eating more will cause distress in the short term. However, we will work towards helping parents to understand this distress, and be supportive to their child, whilst still being very firm with the eating disorder.
Our aim is to help families eat together again, with less distress and conflict; and with the young person making some initial steps towards weight restoration, and getting their life back on track.
We aim to empower parents to manage their child’s illness, well enough, to stay out of hospital.
Family Based treatment will still be in place throughout, and will continue after ChAHTT intervention finishes.
In addition, if a young person is already in hospital, ChAHTT can offer similar packages of care to enable earlier discharge.
Adult day programme
The Day Treatment Programme is designed to support individuals to normalise their eating behaviours, to restore weight where applicable and to provide them with a firm foundation to build upon during individual work with the Eating Disorders Community Team.
It does so by offering a combination of group therapy and supported mealtimes, allowing individuals to work towards their recovery and treatment goals. More information about the programme can be found in the day treatment booklet, the groups guide and weekly timetable.
Interpersonal Group Psychotherapy (IPT-G)
The Gloucestershire Eating Disorders Service is, we believe, the only service in the UK offering IPT-G specifically for patients with binge eating disorder. Research shows that people with binge eating disorder often struggle with relationship issues, such as feeling isolated, experiencing conflict with others or feeling unable to come to terms with a bereavement. IPT-G is a time-limited, here-and-now group therapy. It helps people find ways of resolving these issues, as well as reducing and stopping their symptoms of binge eating.
Each group treatment lasts about six months in total. As part of IPT-G, patients receive two hours of individual therapy before group work begins. This involves working together with two specialist clinicians at once to reach an understanding of how the problem has developed and how symptoms interact with interpersonal problems. This also allows treatment goals to be established. Individual therapy sessions also take place during and at the end of group-work. We also review all our IPT-G patients six months after the end of their treatment.
Beat – Eating Disorder Support Group (Cirencester)
The group meets every month on the first Wednesday of the the month. It is open to sufferers, relatives and friends.
Group Facilitator: Pat Ayres Telephone: 01285 770385
It is important to us to know how well our treatments work and what kind of a difference they make to our patients’ lives. So, when we offer you treatment we will also give you the opportunity take part in one of our research studies. This is completely voluntary and if you would rather not take part, it won’t affect your treatment in any way. If you do decide to take part, we won’t ask you for any personal information that identifies you: it will be completely anonymous. We can’t promise you any benefits from taking part in a study, but it helps us learn about how patients respond to our treatments, and this can lead to us improving what we do in future.
At present, we are recruiting participants for the following studies:
- Evaluating our outpatient treatments
- Evaluating Interpersonal Group Psychotherapy for binge eating disorder
We are planning the following future study:
- Does Child and Adolescent Home Treatment improve parental self-efficacy
Service User Involvement
It is important to us to collaborate with our service users about making decisions relating to how our service operates. We currently do this by:
- Having a “suggestions” box in our reception area
- Inviting ex-service users to sit on interview panels when we recruit new members of staff
- Displaying service users’ artwork and creative writing on the walls at the Brownhill Centre
- Working with service users to raise awareness in the media about eating disorders and their treatment
- Inviting ex-service users to help run our Recovery Workshops for patients and carers
Please get in touch if you have any feedback about our service and/or suggestions about how we can improve what we do.
What do our patients say about recovery? Here are some of the comments made by our service users
Through recovery, I have finally been able to discover the real “me”, buried under an eating disorder for years and years… And also discovered that there are things I like about myself: something I could never see before.
Whenever the nagging voice of the illness creeps back in I have made a pact to myself to do the opposite of what it is telling me. Some days this is easier than others, but the days that it is harder just remind me of why it is so important to keep fighting. For those of you reading this who think that recovery is not possible for you or that life will never be different – you have the power to change that. It will mean going against everything that your eating disorder is telling you and will be the hardest thing you do, but it will also be the most rewarding. I came across a quote that reads, ‘Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must but take the step’. So today I urge you to take that step, as painful as that will be – recovery is most definitely worth it.
I’ve learnt that control isn’t dictated by how little I eat and how thin I get. It’s about doing what’s best for me and my life and having options and opportunities.