ADULTS with eating disorders in Cork are set to benefit from a new adult eating disorder team in the region.
Dr Sinead O’Brien, the Executive Clinical Director for mental health services in Cork, revealed that HSE locally have received approval for the team.
She expects advertising and recruiting efforts to begin next year and is hopeful the team can be in place by the end of March 2021.
Eating disorders have the highest mortality and morbidity of all of the mental health conditions, and it is estimated that they will affect between one and four percent of the population at some point in their lives.
“We have approval for an adult eating disorder team which will be really important,” said Dr O’Brien.
“Realistically, we’re hoping to advertise and recruit during 2020 and looking at a start date in the first quarter of 2021.
“It hasn’t been approved by the Consultant Approval Committee (CAC) yet so we need that before we can advertise and interview,” she added.
“It’s a huge positive.
“Complex cases can take up a huge amount of time - it’s not always the number, but it can be the level of complexity.
“If you can have a specialised team who are giving focussed care, it will free up other teams to focus on their area.” A Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) eating disorder team was introduced in Cork around six months ago.
“That was another big improvement,” said Dr O’Brien.
“It’s benefitting the rest of this service as it’s allowing one team to focus on this specialist, sometimes complex area, while the CAMHS teams focus on others.” Dr Sara McDevitt is the National Clinical Lead for eating disorder programmes and the head of this CAMHS eating disorder team in Cork.
The CAMHS team is temporarily located at St Mary’s Health campus ahead of a permanent move to the new primary care centre at Kinsale Road roundabout when that is complete.
Dr O’Brien explained that, in St Mary’s, the eating disorder teams have access to group rooms, single rooms and an Occupational Therapy (OT) kitchen as well as a clinical room here.