Priory invests in Woking hospital as part of increased provision for patients with eating disorders

  • Eating disorders come under the spotlight this week during international awareness campaign

  • Recent study shows that risk of eating disorders is now rising amongst women in their 40s & 50s

  • Staff at this specialist centre in Surrey say early intervention is key to successful treatment
  • New jobs come with the expansion – nurses, healthcare assistants and specialist therapy staff

The Priory Hospital in Woking is opening a new six-bedded service for private patients over the age of 18 requiring treatment for eating disorders, to cope with demand - as well as providing a specialist day service for them in the form of aftercare.

This will complement the current outpatient service for accompanied young people under the age of 18.

The announcement comes during the initiative Eating Disorders Awareness Week (27 February - 5 March 2017) which this year focuses on the importance of early intervention, and diagnosing potential problems before they become entrenched and the cycle of behaviour becomes harder to reverse.

The first patients will be admitted to the new service within weeks, representing a significant development for the 36 -bed hospital which treats patients for a range of mental health conditions at its site in Chobham Road, Knaphill in Surrey.

Priory's Woking Hospital is also recruiting additional staff to support this new specialist service - nurses, health care assistants and specialist therapy staff - as well as more administrative support, as part of this specialist provision. The hospital's facilities include ensuite bedrooms, quiet rooms and dedicated space for group activities - as well as an office accommodation for nursing staff.

According to the eating disorders charity, Beat, around 750,000 in the UK are affected by an eating disorder - although that figure is thought to be a huge underestimate due to the volume of people who don't seek professional help or are unable to access it. And, whilst prevalence is much higher amongst women, it is believed that around 11% of those struggling with eating disorders are men.

Statistics also show that eating disorders have the highest mortality rates among psychiatric disorders, Anorexia Nervosa having the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder in adolescence.

However, the findings of a UK study released last month suggested that 3% of respondents in their 40s and 50s had an "active" eating disorder.

Some 15% of women reported having suffered from an eating disorder during their lifetime. Worryingly, less than 30% of those women said they had sought help.

Woking Priory Hospital Director Rhiannon Thomas said: "I am delighted that we are in position to provide this much-needed service that will allow us reach out to more people, across all ages, affected by eating disorders. The facilities we have at Woking provide a calm and therapeutic environment where patients will receive the best possible care and treatment as we help them on their individual journey towards recovery, in their own time and at their own pace."

For more details on the full range of Priory Services, please call 0800 840 3219 or click here to make an enquiry.