The British Medical Journal’s (BMJ) prize for Mental Health Team of the Year was awarded in May this year to the FREED team from the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London.
First episode and rapid early intervention for eating disorders (FREED) is a novel service for young people with a first episode of an eating disorder, which focuses on optimal delivery of rapid, personally tailored and well integrated care. The introduction of FREED has been shown to significantly improve treatment uptake, clinical outcomes and service satisfaction and reduces needs for in-patient care.
With support from the Health Foundation, FREED is currently being rolled out to three other large mental health trusts.
The team’s evaluation lead Ulrike Schmidt, Professor of Eating Disorders at King’s College London said:
'We are absolutely thrilled to have won this prestigious award. Eating disorders remain highly stigmatised. This award raises awareness of the plight of a very vulnerable group of young people and shows that how we deliver care makes a big difference to people’s lives.’
The project's clinical lead, Danielle Glennon, Eating Disorders Outpatient Service Lead at SLaM, said:
'This award is hugely motivating for our team. It will support us in our endeavour to make early intervention a reality for all young people with eating disorders.’
The BMJ Awards, now in their 9th year, are the UK's leading medical awards. They recognise and celebrate the inspirational work of healthcare teams across the country. Over a 6-month period more than 350 teams submit entries which our distinguished judges whittle down to 60 shortlisted teams and 15 eventual winners who are all showcased in The BMJ.
By the Brain, Behaviour and Research Foundation, November 2016
Researchers have found cells in the brain that suppress an animal’s drive to eat. These cells produce a chemical that carries a message other parts of the brain involved in appetite.
Researchers used mice to look at how this message-carrying chemical affects appetite.
They found that when this chemical is released in the brain it reduces appetite in mice. When mice cannot release this chemical they eat excessively and gain weight.
Differences in the way this part of the brain works may contribute to risk of an eating disorder. It may also be possible to treat disordered eating by changing the release of this chemical in the brain.
By Tom Quinn, Huffington Post UK, October 2016
Myths about eating disorders are dangerous. They stop people from getting help. This means that people stay ill for much longer than they need to be. This makes it harder to make a full recovery.
Myths about what an eating disorder ‘looks like’ are dangerous. People with eating disorders are not always extremely thin. Eating disorders can affect anyone, of any shape, size, gender, age, or cultural background.
Beat is the UK’s main eating disorder charity. They say that treatment should be given as early as possible. This means getting help before disordered eating behaviours have become entrenched. Early help gives the best chance for a full recovery. Beat proudly support FREED!
By Laura Donnelly, The Telegraph, August 2016
Many NHS trusts are using BMI to decide whether patients with eating disorders are able to access care. In some areas patients are refused care if their BMI is over 14. A health BMI is between 18 and 25!
Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) state that BMI is not enough. The NHS said that they would like to care for more people but they can’t because they lack resources and funding. FREED aims to show that early intervention is cost-effective. There is hope for the future!