Priory invests in Woking hospital for patients with eating disorders
Priory Hospital 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 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-bedded hospital which treats patients for a range of mental health conditions at its site in Chobham Road, Knaphill in Surrey.
Priory Hospital Woking is also recruiting additional staff to support this new specialist service - nurses, healthcare assistants and specialist therapy staff - as well as more administrative support, as part of this specialist provision. The hospital's facilities include en-suite bedrooms, quiet rooms and dedicated space for group activities - as well as 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, with 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.
Hospital Director at Priory Hospital Woking, 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."