Frequently asked questions

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

Contact details:

Address: Vincent Square Eating Disorder Service, 1 Nightingale Place, London SW10 9NG
Phone: 020 3315 2104

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Arranging a carers assessment

  • If you are a friend or loved one who supports someone with an eating disorder, arranging a carer's assessment might be helpful. Please visit our friends and family page to learn more.