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Eating disorders : The Huntercombe Group - Eating Disorder Service

* Huntercombe logo
The Huntercombe Group is one of the UK’s leading independent healthcare operators and consists of hospitals and centres throughout the UK, highly regarded for quality of care and innovation in their respective fields. The centres provide acute and longer term treatment in the areas of mental health, eating disorders and addictions, brain injury rehabilitation and neurodisabilitiy and learning disabilities.
Because the services are very different, they provide separate units for each area of treatment and care. Certain units are registered to admit those detained under the Mental Health Act and are able to assess and treat adults and adolescents with a diagnosis of mental illness and substance misuse disorder.
In all their services The Huntercombe Group respects the dignity and rights of their patients and clients, addressing their religious, cultural and ethnic requirements under the Children's Act and Mental Health Act.

Huntercombe eating disorders - one to one discussion *

Eating disorder service

The Huntercombe Group offers a holistic and evidence based approach to the treatment of eating disorders across its three hospitals located in Edinburgh, Stafford and Maidenhead.
They treat a broad range of eating disorder in male and female patients aged 11 to 30 years* and admit patients suffering from severe and life threatening illnesses such as anorexia nervosa or other eating disorders, who have not responded to less intensive methods of treatment. Patients are admitted on a voluntary basis, or on the basis of their parents’ consent, or where appropriate under the Mental Health Act.
They take a broad and comprehensive approach to assessment and treatment, paying due attention to biological, psychological and social factors; their services are focused on providing intensive, skilled, experienced, multidisciplinary treatment for young people.  Beyond working towards regaining a healthy eating pattern and weight, they offer a wide range of treatment, allowing them to tailor therapy to individual need. This includes motivational enhancement principles, family involvement, a developmental approach with our younger patients and rehabilitation of those with longer standing illness.
All of The Huntercombe Group’s eating disorder hospitals take part in a multi-centre research programme based at St. George’s University of London, led by Professor Bryan Lask, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry who is also Medical Advisor and Research Director for the Huntercombe Group.  All their units also provide training in eating disorders to a number of clinical disciplines, enhancing the ability of NHS and other colleagues to deal with these disorders. 
* Huntercombe Hospital Edinburgh – 11 to 30 years
  Huntercombe Hospital Maidenhead – 12 to 19 years
  Huntercombe Hospital Stafford – 13 to 25 years

* Huntercombe eating disorders - discussion on stairs

Patient’s journey of care and treatment

Patients are encouraged to be partners in their care, and family work is an integral part of each patient’s treatment programme, where that individual is living with their family.  A variety of individual therapy models are employed, depending on circumstances and need, including motivational work, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), work on relationship issues, and focused psychodynamic psychotherapy.  Group therapy in various forms is an important element of the inpatient treatment programme, as is support for ongoing education (including post GCSE) when appropriate.
The initial phase of treatment aims to treat the patient’s physical ill health and support them in reaching a safe weight. This phase also focuses on identifying and beginning to address significant psychological issues, particularly those directly related to the patient’s eating disorder.
The second phase helps to move the patient towards making healthier choices about their eating, weight and level of exercise and focuses on finding solutions to any broader psychological issues.
The final phase of treatment centres on preparing the patient for re-integration back into the community and increasing their understanding of how they can help to minimise their risk of relapse.

Follow on treatment

Recovery from severe eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa generally takes two to three years from commencing treatment. The majority of this time will be in outpatient treatment.
Arrangements for ongoing outpatient treatment depend on each patient’s individual needs and circumstances, and the level of support available from their local mental health services, and will be agreed during their hospital stay. 
In some circumstances it may be agreed that outpatient treatment is continued at The Huntercombe Hospital, which usually consists of ongoing individual and family therapy with psychiatric review and other specific inputs as required.

Clinical outcomes

The Huntercombe Group is able to demonstrate positive treatment outcomes. The results of a recent study conducted at its Stafford hospital suggest that patients suffering from severe eating disorders, with related physical conditions, can improve substantially as a result of specialist inpatient treatment given sufficient time, even when the severity of their disorder necessitated compulsory admission.

Huntercombe eating disorders - group therapy *

Accessing the service and funding of treatment

Patients can access the service by referral from their local NHS Consultant Psychiatrist, their deputy or equivalent team leader. They may also accept referrals from other clinical disciplines, for example, psychologists, GPs and paediatricians.
Patients can be admitted urgently. The urgency of the admission is agreed between the referring clinician and the admitting hospital.
Patients are accepted for treatment following funding approval by the referring source. In some circumstances patients are able to obtain funding via their private medical insurer or may wish to consider self-funding.
Further advice on accessing the service is available from each of the three hospitals. 

Contact details

The Huntercombe Hospital - Edinburgh
Binny Estate
Ecclesmachan Road
West Lothian
EH52 6NL
Tel: 01506 856023
Fax: 01506 865270

The Huntercombe Hospital - Stafford
Ivetsey Bank
Wheaton Aston
ST19 9QT
Tel: 01785 840000
Fax: 01785 842192

The Huntercombe Hospital - Maidenhead
Huntercombe Lane South
Tel: 01628 667881
Fax: 01628 603398

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