Our eating disorder treatment programmes in COVID-19
Many people with eating disorders have found it difficult to access to the right level of treatment during the coronavirus outbreak. Here at Priory Group, we are continuing to provide people with access to our residential treatment during this challenging time.
Steve Clarke, Hospital Director at Priory’s Life Works, has outlined how we have adapted our service so that we are able to continue supporting people with eating disorders in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our eating disorder programmes that are available during the coronavirus outbreak
Many day care programmes or outpatient programmes have had to be temporarily suspended as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In the absence of our day care programmes, we are still providing people with access to the residential programmes available at our facilities, including Priory’s Life Works and Arthur House.
For people suffering with eating disorders who are self-isolating or currently in lockdown, it can be very easy to revert back to unhealthy behaviours. A residential treatment programme can help to keep you safe 24 hours a day and make sure that you remain supported during this incredibly difficult time, so that you don’t return to disordered eating or start to damage your relationship with food again.
How our residential treatment programme is operating during COVID-19
It is important for people suffering from eating disorders, such as bulimia, anorexia, binge eating disorder (BED), and other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED), to have access to the types of food that will help them in their own recovery. During the coronavirus outbreak, it has been a lot more difficult for people to access certain foods. Our teams have been working hard so that the people who are working through one of our residential programmes during COVID-19 have access the right type of foods that have been agreed upon by their dietitian and nutritionist.
We have had to make some changes to our programme as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. For example, at Arthur House in Wimbledon, we would normally carry out exposure work, like taking people out to restaurants or cafes. This allows a person to start experiencing potentially challenging everyday situations so that they can work on improving their disordered relationship with food.
As we can’t take people to restaurants at the moment, we’ve been carrying out activities like ordering in takeaways and baking so that people are still able to challenge their eating disorders in a safe and healthy environment.
Our online therapy service can also be accessed for eating disorder treatment
At Priory Group, we do have another eating disorder treatment option available during the COVID-19 pandemic. Priory Connect - our online therapy service – provides people with access to flexible support and treatment from experts specialising in eating disorders.
Through Priory Connect, we are able to offer a full programme of treatment, where an initial consultation is carried out using Skype and therapy sessions are provided thereafter with an expert therapist in the field of eating disorders.