Improving support for people with an eating disorder

National review of services published.

Urgent support for people with eating disorders is the priority recommendation of a new national review of services.

Self-help packages, peer support networks and emotional and practical support for families and carers are also recommended in the review, published today. It comes in response to an increase in the number and severity of cases during the pandemic.

The Scottish Government announced the National Review of Eating Disorder Services last year. It was tasked with giving a full picture of the current system, and to provide recommendations on how services and the wider support system could be improved. 

All 15 detailed recommendations will now be taken forward by an implementation group of relevant stakeholders, guided by a diverse lived experience panel, including patients, their families and loved ones, and third sector representatives.

Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said:

“We know the COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on the mental health of the population, including those with diagnosed and undiagnosed eating disorders. 

“This is why during the early stages of the pandemic we provided Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, with funding to ensure that their online and telephone services were able to support as many people as possible during this difficult time.

“The National Review of Eating Disorder Services was a crucial first step in a phased programme of work to improve outcomes for people living with an eating disorder in Scotland, to help them recover and maintain healthy and productive lives.

“I want to thank all those involved in the Review for their hard work in gathering key evidence and drafting their report and recommendations, which will now be taken forward by an Implementation Group of relevant stakeholders, including those who are experts by experience.”

A spokesperson for the clinicians and psychologists leading the Review said:

"It has been an immense privilege to be asked to do this work by the Scottish Government. We have tried to listen carefully to the public as well as healthcare professionals, the third sector and health boards about what would work best for Scotland.

“We hope that this Review will pave the way to more equitable, accessible and supportive services in Scotland for all people who have eating disorders and their loved ones, regardless of age, diagnosis, severity or location."


The Scottish Eating Disorder Services Review – Summary Report and Recommendations will be published on the Scottish Government website at 11:00 am on Tuesday 23 March.

Those leading the Review include: eating disorder clinicians Stephen Anderson, Charlotte Oakley, Jacinta Tan and Katie Hughes.


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