Treatment of Eating Disorders in Sheffield

I saw this article about the provision of eating disorders treatment in Sheffield http://www.sct.nhs.uk/news-and-events/news/news-articles/1/3030

This article is incredibly self-ingratiating and above all it’s entirely misleading. Sheffield has its very own Eating Disorder In-patient Unit. It is based in Ranmoor and called Riverdale Grange. The Sheffield eating disorders service absolutely refuse to refer patients there, they would rather send them 40 miles away to the NHS eating disorder unit in Leeds. The Sheffield unit is a privately run facility and this appears to be the fundamental problem for St George’s and the Sheffield Primary Care Trust PCT. The monthly costs of patient treatment are almost identical for both units. St. George’s are allowed to refer patients there, but they won’t fund the treatment there. WHY?

This back-slapping article about how wonderful ED treatment in Sheffield is also conveniently side-steps the fact that they are one of the few services in all of the UK that still sends patients to acute psychiatric wards for in-patient treatment. They do so in spite of NICE guidelines that sufferers of eating disorders should ABSOLUTELY NOT be treated in this units. Our wonderful service in Sheffield sends unfortunate sufferers to these places for one reason only. COST. It’s cheaper by far to do this than treat patients as NICE guidelines state.

If you live in Sheffield and have an eating disorder you have the right to absolutely refuse to go to an acute psychiatric unit. Demand to go to a proper eating disorder unit. Demand to go to Sheffield’s own unit and not be sent 40 miles away. Don’t forget that Riverdale Grange in a recent audit scored higher than Leeds for its success rates. You have rights even though you are ill. Complain to your MP, write to the newspapers. Make yourself heard. It’s time the eating disorder community had a voice. Don’t listen to the local propaganda and the NHS mafia. Don’t believe me. Find out for yourself. Do your research and then speak out. We won’t take this kind of treatment any longer Sheffield PCT and St. George’s. It’s time for some straight talking.

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About Derbyshire Counselling Service

I am a qualified and experienced counsellor who started working in the field in 1990. I have been seriously ill and almost died from an eating disorder. Anorexia was my best/worst friend for so long. Now it has gone and its time to start again. I want to help others eat their illness. I offer a unique service as i can truly empathise with my clients and help them in a way that almost every other counsellor can not. I saw so many other people suffering so painfully and desperately and i witnessed and suffered some terrible treatments by healthcare professionals. I truly would like to let the world know how much we suffer in silence and try and and these indignities. I was ill for 20 years but my sense of altruism remains as fresh as ever
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2 Responses to Treatment of Eating Disorders in Sheffield

  1. Freya Jade says:

    I attended st Georges day service for a good many months with both anorexia and bulimia symptoms and my weight dropped from around 8 stone to 6, i went into hospital due to low potassium and finally after much emailing by my mother (i was 18). I was given a place at riverdale grange which was amazing. However I was the only sheffield girl there. All the other girls were from Derby and one lived half in doncaster half in sheffield. my funding got cut short (wasn’t supposed to have it anyway!) so they sent me back to dayservice after with all the really ill girls; there was nothing like a finish your plate rule and the toilets were unlocked. I attended sporadically and then stopped all together. I explained to my mother that I realised it was a new service but it wasnt established and I am not a guinea pig!! whereas riverdale nurses knew exactly what they were doing. I am now well on my way to recovery and going to university in september 😀 I really like this article. Inpatient somewhere like riverdale is the best way to recover.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I am pleased you benefitted from the treatment at St Georges.
    I would like to say that whilst my experiences are from 2003-2008 that they are not invalid or outdated. My counselling clinic in Belper has treated patients who were at St Georges this year. Their experiences are very similar to mine. So to call my sources “second hand” is simply not accurate.
    St Georges is still one of the few Eating Disorder services that routinely send patients for in-patient treatment in acute psychiatric units. NICE guidelines state that this should not happen. St Georges do this for one reason only. It is to save money. They do not do it on clinical grounds. They primary interest is not the patient it is saving money
    St Georges still prefers to use NHS ED clinics rather than the private sector. They will not use Sheffield’s own clinic at Riverdale Grange because it is in the private sector.
    I am pleased that you found your treatment helpful at St Georges, but I stand by my original comments and state for the record that my sources are not second hand and are not outdated.
    There is more to treating an eating disorder than simply gaining weight. The psychological treatment of an ED is in many ways more important that gaining weight. It is imperative for clinicians to understand the concept of the eating disorder “voice” In the UK there is still not a coherent approach to this.In fact many professionals do not seem to even know of its existence.
    I plan to start my own treatment program here in Derbyshire next year. Plans are at an early stage and it is important that we receive adequate funding. I plan to exclusively use staff and volunteers who have had an eating disorder. It is my intention to develop a radically different approach to the treatment of eating disorders. St Georges would have people believe that sufferers with a BMI of 15 or under are not receptive to psychological interventions. This is complete nonsense. It simply absolves them of the need to provide it. Thus saving money.
    So whilst I appreciate your comments, I still have significant reservations about the efficacy of the approach that St Georges uses. They still have very dubious in patient referral procedures based on financial saving rather than patient benefits.
    But any changes they have made can only be for the better. Things couldn’t have got much worse there.

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