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Eating Disorders

Dáil Éireann Debate, Friday - 3 December 2021

Friday, 3 December 2021

Questions (116)

Niamh Smyth


116. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the investment that is being made in specialist eating disorder services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59194/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Enhancement of specialist services for eating disorders, including improved access and shorter waiting lists, remains a key priority for me, Government as a whole and the HSE.

In 2018, the National Clinical Programme for Eating Disorders published a Model of Care in partnership with the College of Psychiatrists’ of Ireland and Bodywhys. The Model of Care has a core focus on developing regional community-based specialist eating disorder services provided by skilled multidisciplinary teams.

Since its establishment, €5.7 million has been allocated for the Eating Disorders National Clinical Programme up to 2020, of which €1.77 million had been invested prior to 2021.

In 2021, I secured the balance of €3.94 million and this has enabled further investment in specialist posts throughout the year. This will allow for the establishment of 3 new specialist eating disorder teams, as well as the completion of the 3 existing specialist teams in 2021. Services for both adults and children with eating disorders will be enhanced through the development of these teams.

Furthermore, I have ring-fenced an additional €1.15 million in funding for the programme in 2022. This funding will enable greater investment in specialist posts throughout next year, enabling the development of new specialist eating disorder teams in CHOs 1, 3, 5 and 6.

Including the funding available for 2022, a total of €6.85 million will have been allocated to the Eating Disorders National Clinical Programme since 2016, reflecting the Government’s ongoing commitment to providing and expanding high-quality treatment and support for all those affected by eating disorders.

Question No. 117 answered orally.