Community children's eating disorder services will receive a boost in funding, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has announced.
Mr Clegg stated that £150m will be invested in children's eating disorder services over the next five years to reduce the number of hospital admissions.
The money will also be used to extend access to talking therapies so that children and young people will have a choice of evidence-based therapies.
The funding will be used to create swifter access to evidence-based community treatment, result in fewer transfers to adult services, and create a more standardised provision for children and young people.
These will act as a base for developing waiting time and access standards for eating disorders by 2016.
Mr Clegg said: 'We know that if an eating disorder goes untreated for more than three to five years the chances of recovery are greatly reduced, while incidents of self-harm increase.
'That's why we need to act now to transform the current system, intervening earlier with dedicated and community-based services to ensure that we don't fail this generation or the next.'
Susan Ringwood, the chief executive of Beat, a charity for children with eating disorders, called this funding a 'call to action'. 'Now the government must ensure that all [primary healthcare professionals] are up to date and up to speed on diagnosing eating disorders, so that young people can get referred as quickly as possible for this treatment. It will save lives,' she said.
The announcement comes a month after research revealed that an increasing number of young people, from as young as five, are being admitted to hospital for the treatment of eating disorders. Those aged 14 to 25 the most likely to be affected.
This extra funding was announced prior to the Autumn Statement, which took place in the House of Commons today.
Mr Clegg along with other parliamentary figures have set up a Children and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing Taskforce to look at how to improve children's mental health services. They will report their recommendations and findings in spring 2015.
To read more about children's mental health services visit: http://www.independentnurse.co.uk/news/childrens-m...