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Sunday 18th March 2018

GPs not helping people with eating disorders

23rd February 2009

A report by a UK charity has found that GPs in England are not adequately helping their anorexic and bulimic patients.


It is thought that eating disorders are suffered by over 1.1 million people in the UK.

The Beat charity stated that only 15% of patients said their doctor "understood their disorders, or knew how to help them".

Recently published data has revealed an 80% increase in the amount of anorexic girls admitted to hospital over the last ten years.

The charity surveyed 1,500 people with eating disorders and found many sufferers said they felt their doctor did not know enough about treatments or how to find them.

The report said national guidelines on treating eating disorders were good but that there were variations in how these were implicated around England.

Beat chief executive Susan Ringwood said Prime Minister Gordon Brown was on the right track, as he has admitted that the treatment of eating disorders needed to be improved.

She added: "Despite these positive signs we are aware that people affected by eating disorders still aren't getting the treatment and support they need."

Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: "It's not very often that the patient comes to the GP and says 'I've got an eating disorder'.

"But doctors do know what they are doing and the signs to look out for and patients should be reassured of this." 

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