Berkshire Eating Disorders Service (BEDS)
About the Berkshire Eating Disorders Service
We’re a multi-disciplinary team made up of child and adolescent psychiatrists, dieticians, family therapists, nurses, psychologists and psychotherapists.
We work closely with young people and their families or carers to develop a package of care tailored to their individual needs. We also provide advice and training to GPs, schools and social care services.
We see young people aged 8-18 with an eating disorder and who have preoccupying worries and difficulties with eating and concerns about their weight and shape.
We don’t have a waiting list for new referrals. Urgent cases are seen within a week and routine cases within six-eight weeks. Following assessment, treatment is generally offered in the locality nearest to the young person’s home.
Assessment takes place at our base in Maidenhead, where our team assesses the young person’s needs, and identifies the best way to support them.
The first appointment lasts about two and a half hours. We’ll see your the person individually, and with you, their carers or the rest of their family.
You’ll meet with members of our team who’ll talk to you about the concerns that led to the referral. Then, after a half hour break, you’ll discuss the outcome of the assessment, and plan and agree the best treatment together. You’ll be given a copy of the treatment plan, and a copy will also be sent to the young person's GP.
The treatment provided by BEDS CYPF is consistent with 'The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Guidelines for Eating Disorders (2017).' The aim of treatment is to improve the psychological, physical and social functioning of the young person.
We develop treatment plans to meet the individual needs of the young people we see. These might include:
- Family based treatment (FBT): there is evidence that a family based approach to treatment is associated with improved outcomes. Generally all young people and their families will initially be offered FBT which aims to enlist the support of the whole family in supporting the young person's recovery
- Individual therapy: the young person might be offered one-to-one sessions to help them make changes. This could start with supportive work, and move towards specialist cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or another model of therapy, depending on their needs
- Family therapy: this can help family members improve communication and relationships so they can understand one another better, and work together to make the changes they feel are necessary
- Dietetic support: specialist dietetic support is available for all young people referred into our service
- Medical monitoring: eating disorders can have a serious impact on physical health. We’ll regularly monitor the young person’s weight, blood pressure and pulse, and arrange blood tests, ECGs and bone density scans if required
- Parents/carers groups
- Multi-family therapy
- Liaison with inpatient teams: sometimes young people need to be admitted to hospital for more intensive support. If this happens, we’ll liaise closely with hospital teams to make sure the transition is smooth
- Participation and support group for young people
- Liaison with schools and other professionals.
If you suspect a young person within your care has an eating disorder, you can make a referral yourself. Once the referral is received, it will be passed to the CYPF Berkshire Eating Disorders service for triage.
If it is urgent
If your referral is urgent (very low weight, rapid weight loss or serious psychiatric comorbidity such as suicidal risk), please mark your referral as URGENT and telephone our HealthHub on 0300 365 1234 (calls charged at local rate).
When making a referral, please include as much of the following information that you are able to:
- Height in cm
- Weight in kg (including pattern of weight gain or loss)
- Physical checks: pulse and blood pressure
- Menstruation history (onset and current pattern)
- Eating pattern and behaviour (past and current)
- Any bingeing and/or purging (including exercise, self-induced vomiting) and frequency of these
- Any laxative or diuretic use
- Any prescribed medication
- Any recent history of dizziness or fainting
- Any significant family history.
You might find it helpful to ask your young person to complete the SCOFF questionnaire, a tool that helps assess the possible presence of an eating disorder.
If you’re unsure whether to make a referral, we operate a duty line from 9am until 5pm, Monday to Fridays. You can call us to discuss your case. Call 01753 638067
You can also contact us by email: BEDSchildrenadmin@berkshire.nhs.uk
If you're over the age of 18, you can find support from our Berkshire Eating Disorders Service (BEDS)