MP's 'shock' at NHS cash cuts for eating disorders group
MP Tessa Munt says she is "shocked" that Somerset Partnership
NHS has completely cut its financial support for Somerset and
Wessex Eating Disorders Association (SWEDA), which has members
in the Burnham area.
trusts withdrawal - which cuts 50% of SWEDAs total
funding from the start of January - means users of SWEDA's services,
which include counselling, a telephone helpline and monthly support
group meetings, will be unable to find the specialist help they
Tessa said this week: "I am shocked that the Trust has decided
to cut all its funding of SWEDA. The association does a great
job educating young people about the problems caused by eating
disorders through its schools' project."
"I am sure that money spent on prevention saves much more
money being spent on treating eating disorders in the long run.
I am sure that in removing funding from SWEDA, the Trust is simply
adding to its long term costs, as it will have to treat more sufferers
with advanced conditions just because it has withdrawn funding
and caused a lack of early support and help."
Tessa has written to the trust's Chief Executive, Edward Colgan,
asking for an explanation and she also plans to raise the matter
with the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, when Parliament
group's Jackie Tanner, who lives in Burnham, told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"Currently, SWEDA runs a monthly support group for sufferers
and carers, low cost counselling, email and MSN Messenger support
and telephone helpline support twice a week. The majority of their
counsellors are volunteers. I have personally used SWEDA for the
past year and they have been helpful in my recovery."
of eating disorders amongst general health practitioners is limited
and the criteria for disgnosis often leaves sufferers without
the help they need at a crucial time. Organisations like SWEDA
are a lifeline to those with an eating disorder, waiting lists
for treatment within the NHS and mental health services are too
long and priority is often based on an individuals bmi. To cut
another service to those vulnerable is tragic."
Somerset's Paul Courtney defended the decision, saying it has
been made after a full review of its expenditure.
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "For some years Somerset Partnership
NHS Foundation Trust has provided funding for SWEDA. The Trust
has its own dedicated Eating Disorder Service which meets the
needs of the majority of the most seriously affected patients
review by the Trust of its funding to SWEDA concluded that this
money could be better directed to supporting an aspect of the
child and adolescent mental health services."
to SWEDA therefore ended at the start of January. However, the
Partnership Trust would like to reassure any person experiencing
an eating disorder that they will continue to have access to the
support they need."
Somerset Health and Wellbeing Service, known as Somerset
Right Steps, already provides support to people with less
severe mental health ill health and difficulties arising from
conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression and phobias. Based
around your family doctor, the service provides a range of support
based upon the persons needs."
might include access to talking therapies, such as
counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), or for the
more seriously affected person, access to acute mental health
assessment and support, such as that provided by the Trust itself."
Pier Tavern in Pier Street will be holding a charity quiz night
for the group on Tuesday January 10th from 7pm in aid of SWEDA.