New anorexia unit opens at Southmead Hospital

Image caption,
The new unit includes therapeutic spaces as well as kitchen and dining areas for patients

More help is being offered to people with eating disorders at a new unit based at Bristol's Southmead Hospital.

Four beds have been added, increasing the number of inpatient beds to 10. Therapeutic spaces, kitchen and dining areas have also been created.

Ward manager Adam Deuchar said: "Having improved facilities and being able to offer more support and treatment is a great start."

Previously the service was split across two sites at the Bristol hospital.

The service is being delivered by the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership and will mean inpatient and outpatient services are housed in the same unit.

Support offered includes specialised outpatient work and high-intensity support during an inpatient stay.

Jane Smith, chief executive of national charity Anorexia and Bulimia Care (ABC), said: "It's wonderful to hear. If only this was replicated across the country and more money put into the mental health services, then I'm sure we'll see a difference.

"But there needs to be a joined-up approach and we need to help GPs because they're doing the job of assessing people, they refer people on to specialist services and they have to care for people while the wait is happening."

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