We offer help and support to children and young people aged 17 or under who have a suspected or confirmed eating disorder diagnosis.

Our team of psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, a dietician, paediatrician and psychological therapists offer assessment, diagnosis and intervention on a range of suspected and confirmed eating disorders including:

  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Binge eating disorder
  • Atypical anorectic and bulimic eating disorder

This service is for children and young people aged 17 and under who live in Central and North London who are experiencing some degree of psychological distress with a suspected or diagnosed eating disorder.

This includes children and young people who are seeking advice, consultation and support.

We accept referrals from GPs, other healthcare professionals, schools and colleges. We also accept self-referrals from young people or parents and carers.

Please download and complete the relevant referral form below. Completed referral forms can be emailed, posted or handed in to our reception. If you are sending a referral form by email, please make sure you are using a secure email address.

Self-referrals can also be made over the telephone.

Download a self-referral form for young people, parents and carers (opens word doc)

Download a referral form for professionals (opens word doc)

If you are unsure whether this service is suitable for you, please speak to a member of our duty team who will be able to advise you. You can call us on 020 3315 3369.

  1. We call you back as soon as we receive a referral from you, your GP, or other professional.
  2. We assess the urgency of your referral.
  3. For urgent referrals we aim to offer the first appointment within five days.
  4. For other referrals we aim to offer the first appointment within four weeks.

We offer evidence-based treatments, meaning that these treatments have been shown to be effective in research trials.

We treat people in the community, and try to keep young people in their own home as the research shows that this has the best long-term outcomes. 

We work closely with Vincent Square and provide a smooth transition into the service for young people with an eating disorder when they reach 18 years of age.

We provide integrated nutritional, medical and psychological care for people with severe eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders.

Anorexia Nervosa
Someone with anorexia nervosa worries all the time about food, eating, body weight or body shape. Behaviours such as eating very little or over-exercising can lead to losing a lot of weight.  This can soon result in physical symptoms such as fatigue and loss of periods, and psychological symptoms such as feeling low and withdrawing from friends and family.

Bulimia Nervosa
Someone with bulimia nervosa also worries a lot about body weight and body shape. They alternate between eating very little, and then over-eating and feeling out of control, guilty and ashamed. They may make themselves sick after eating and compensate for eating by exercising.

Binge Eating Disorder
Someone with binge eating disorder struggles with frequent episodes of binge eating which can make them feel out of control and guilty.  

Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED)
This is when someone has considerable difficulty and distress around eating, but doesn’t meet diagnostic criteria for any of the above eating disorders. Some but not all of the features of anorexia and bulimia are likely to be present.

Medically unexplained weight loss and severe underweight
Where there is no likely physical cause for weight loss, we can help to assess whether there is an underlying eating disorder. 

We provide integrated nutritional, medical and psychological care for people with severe eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders.

Parents or carers are involved in treatment.

We offer advice, consultation and education to other professionals, for example, in schools, GP surgeries and to anyone involved in a child’s network.

We offer the following treatment packages:

Family based treatment (FBT). Parents take on the task of feeding their child and we support them to do this, through weekly meetings where we troubleshoot conflicts and difficulties, set meal plans, give advice and tips for coping, and hear every family member’s perspective.  We monitor weight and health at every appointment.

Individual therapy. There are two main models for individual therapy, Adolescent Focused Therapy (AFT) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Enhanced (CBT-E). In both, eating behaviour, anxieties, thoughts and feelings are explored with the goal of supporting normal eating as well as developing self-esteem, self-awareness, and improving mood.  Individual therapy is usually not the first choice when someone is first in the grip of an eating disorder.   Individual therapy can help very much when your weight is more stable and you are faced with the challenges of coping with friends, school and your own emotions.

Young people with eating disorders also can suffer from depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and sometimes self-harm. We take these into account when we offer treatment and offer evidence based treatment for these conditions when appropriate.

Parent groups. We offer the Early Intervention Parents Group, a six session group, introducing parents to the important elements of eating disorders treatment. We also offer a separate parent support group. These groups are highly valued by parents because of the opportunity to support and learn from one another.

Treatment may also include:

Psychiatric reviews are carried out regularly with our Consultants.

Dietetic consultation is offered when appropriate.

Medical monitoring is offered when appropriate.

We provide integrated nutritional, medical and psychological care for people with severe eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders.

We are a multi-disciplinary team, meaning we have clinicians with many core training in mental health, and we all have specialist training in treating young people with eating disorders and their families.

  • Dr Phillipa Buckley, Consultant Psychiatrist
  • Dr Dasha Nicholls, Consultant Psychiatrist
  • Dr Kyriaki-Sandy Alatzoglou, Consultant Paediatrician
  • Velanie Bhebhe, Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Richard Allen, Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Ana-Kristina Skrapac, Dietician
  • Cathy Troupp, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist
  • Manual Navarro, Systematic Family Therapist
  • Lottie Hart, Systematic Family Therapist
  • Marta May, Systematic Family Therapist
  • Dr Hayley Dolan, Clinical Psychologist
  • Patsy Small, Team Administrator

All members of the team are trained in Family Based Treatment (FBT) for eating disorders and offer this alongside their own specific therapeutic specialities.  Psychotherapists and psychologists specifically offer individual therapies, and family therapists usually see the family together.

We provide integrated nutritional, medical and psychological care for people with severe eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders.

How long does treatment last?

This is really hard to answer before your assessment and first meeting.  However, it’s usual to advise families to expect treatment to last about a year.  Sometimes it’s shorter and sometimes it’s longer.

What does treatment look like?

We usually start with one therapy, such as family based treatment and then review as to whether an additional treatment could be helpful, such as the parents’ group and individual therapy. We may include medication for conditions that sometimes go with eating disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Will I/my child get better?

Most young people certainly get better and this is shown in the research.  However, some young people may recover fully and others have some symptoms that can last a long time even when things are much better and the young person is enjoying life again.

Will I/my child have to go to hospital?

Young people usually recover best at home with their families, in their own community, and we work to support this.

Sometimes a hospital admission is needed.  A short admission to a paediatric ward may be necessary for some young people when they are very low weight and at high medical risk. When the risks and complications are too high to be managed at home and in the community, some young people can go to a specialist eating disorders inpatient unit for a longer admission. When this happens, we stay involved so that we can support you when it’s time to come back to us in the community.

What if I/we don’t think there is a problem?

Sometimes it happens that young people, parents and professionals disagree about the diagnosis of an eating disorder.  We will always explain the reasons for any diagnosis and give our clinical recommendations.

Helpful resources

Bus    
14, 211, 345, 414    

 

The service is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (closed on public holidays)