Inpatient treatment is provided for individuals with severe anorexia nervosa, who are at high risk physically and psychologically.
Prior to considering a hospital admission, people who have been referred by their local treatment team will be assessed by a consultant psychiatrist in the Adult Eating Disorder Service, or another member of the medical team. If admission is indicated, individuals and carers will be invited to look around the ward and given the opportunity to meet the team. Written information will also be provided. We aim to provide a warm, supportive environment where individuals can address their difficulties, and work towards their individualised goals. Emergency referrals are also accepted for admission and in these cases a pre-admission assessment will not be undertaken.
When admitted to the ward, each individual will be allocated a primary nurse. Following a detailed assessment by the ward doctor, dietitian, and specialist eating disorder nurse, a detailed individualised care plan will be developed in collaboration with the patient. We adopt a client-centred approach that endeavours to meet individual need.
Although the emphasis is on tailor-made care plans, there are general rules that apply to everyone. Gaining weight is an essential part of recovery, and the dietitian will help the patient plan an eating programme that aims for steady and regular weight gain. Our philosophy is "eating for health".
Eating a regular diet is an important part of the treatment; however, the psychological support required is viewed as of equal importance and is provided through both group and individual work. Family work is also an important part of the ward treatment plan.
All in-patients will be offered the chance to engage in individual psychological therapy. We have an experienced psychologist who works on the ward offering individual, family, couple and group-based psychological interventions. Those patients seen individually will work with the psychologist to develop a clinical formulation or understanding of his/her difficulties. Subsequently they may be offered specific psychological treatment.
The length of treatment varies depending on clinical need and how long the patient's admission lasts. This input is complemented by additional individual work with the nursing team, group therapy or family work. Patients local to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area will be offered psychological therapy by a psychologist from our local community team eating disorder. All patients and their families/carers will be offered the chance to participate in three-day multi-family work run with a nurse from the ward and two psychologists.