New plan to treat eating disorders

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Feet on scales and tape measureImage source, Getty Images

New guidelines are to be drawn up to help support the care of patients with eating disorders.

Doctors and other health professionals in Scotland will be given specific advice on treatment

The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) will focus on the "specific to the needs of Scotland".

In the latest year in which figures are available, 2017-18, 536 people were treated for an eating disorder.

Announcing the plan, the minister responsible for mental health Clare Haughey said: "It is vital that patients across Scotland have the best possible support available and I welcome the eating disorder guidance SIGN is creating which will give clinicians in Scotland more specific advice.

"Our ambitious 10 year Mental Health Strategy, backed by investment of £150m over the next five years, sets out clearly how we can improve early intervention, and ensure better access to services, including specific actions to support people with eating disorders

"Eating disorders do not discriminate - anyone can be affected by them and we are committed to raising their profile across Scotland."

Sara Twaddle of Healthcare Improvement Scotland added: "Studies tell us that eating disorders in teenage girls may be as high as 12% and that male eating disorders are increasingly being recognised.

"Moreover, professional and public bodies representing people with eating disorders tell us that there's a need for a guideline on diagnosis and treatment that is specific to the needs of Scotland."