Referral Process

EDS cannot accept self-referrals to the day service programme due to the severity of the clients’ physical and or psychological risks. Referrals are only accepted from the Severe Eating Disorder Consultation and Assessment Service (SEDCAS – part of CMHT) or the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT). Individuals who are not under the care of the CMHT, will require urgent referrals by their GP’s to the CMHT for assessment before being considered onto the day programme.


Who can refer?

Sometimes people are reluctant to talk to people about their eating problems because they feel their problem is not serious enough, and may be concerned about wasting their time. They may also feel ashamed of, or embarrassed about sharing their struggles for fear of being judged. EDS is available to discuss and clarify any concerns individuals may have so as to decide if a referral to our service is appropriate.

EDS community service accepts self-referrals or from a professional involved with the clients.

What happens at the point of referral?

On receipt of your referral (self or from other professionals), we will contact you, usually by phone (or tell us another way of contact that suits you) in order to obtain more background information about your eating problems. We will then arrange an assessment appointment that is convenient for you to come in and meet one of the team to discuss your situation in more detail. This will help us decide how we can support you.

The problems of an eating disorder are at times not clear cut, EDS is therefore available to discuss and clarify any concerns professionals may have before deciding if a referral is appropriate. 

Referrals can be sent via fax, post or over the telephone, we do not recommend email referrals as EDS do not have a secure email provider.

In order to avoid delays in the referral process, it would be useful to provide EDS with as much background information as possible e.g. eating habits, physical health status and mental health or other past history that may be relevant.

If it is appropriate for EDS to proceed with the referral, all professionals involved would be provided with a report letter highlighting the result/recommendation of the assessment.

EDS community service accepts self-referrals from individuals suffering with mild or moderate symptoms of an eating disorder.

Potential clients can make initial contact with the service via phone, post or email. In response, we will get in touch, usually by phone (or another way of contact that suits the person) to obtain more background information about their eating problems.

An assessment appointment would then be arranged to meet one of our team to discuss their situation in more detail.

This will help us decide the nature of our support.

The Assessment

After arranging an assessment appointment, a confirmation letter will be sent to the client with a leaflet and a short form asking him/her to detail some further personal information. EDS request that this form be returned prior to the assessment appointment.

The assessment meeting will normally be with one of our therapists and takes approximately 2.5 hours. When the client arrives at the appointment, he/she will be asked to complete some additional information sheets which will help us with the assessment.

During the meeting, it is common for people to feel anxious about sharing and discussing their struggles, however, this is an opportunity to share his/her concerns and for us to try to understand the situation. This enable EDS to decide the best possible support package for the individual.

Following the assessment meeting, the EDS team will discuss the person’s situation at our post-assessment meeting.

Once a decision is made regarding the nature of help, a a letter confirming these details will be sent to the client. There is generally a wait before any therapy commences but it is acceptable for the clients to contact the office if they are unsure of the waiting time.

We will also write to inform the GP of our plan as they are responsible for the clients’ medical care when individuals are living at home. We will also be writing to any other health care professionals who may be involved to confirm our involvement.

Day Service

The EDS Day Service Programme provides more intensive community-based support for a smaller number of people with more severe problems with anorexia nervosa. Our goal is to help the day clients to: develop a balance between weight restoration and normalised eating encourage flexibility in the process of recovery and improvement. focus on creating a life outside eating disorder in order to reduce the power and function that the disorder plays.

Individual Therapy

Therapy at EDS consists of one-hour weekly individual sessions, when the clients and their therapists can explore issues e.g. thoughts, feelings, life events or patterns of behaviours that have caused difficulties in their life. The therapists will try to facilitate them to explore these areas and help to find ways to resolve these difficulties, or support them to seek alternative more constructive forms of coping. In order to maximise the benefit of this form of input, clients’ commitment to regular weekly attendance and willingness to make changes (no matter how small these may be) are the key to a positive outcome. It is important to be realistic and not too ambitious by expecting improvements immediately. It takes time to make and stay with the changes which is often painful and challenging for individuals.

Group Therapy

This is a form of therapy where a small number of clients meet on a weekly basis to talk, interact and support each other with the help of one or two therapists. Group therapy aims to create a safe and comfortable environment for the individuals to work out specific issues. They may gain insight into their difficulties and offer support and suggestions to the other members. Group therapy is not for everyone and is only offered after careful consideration, balancing the clients’ needs and the benefits from this type of input.

Community Service

EDS offers a range of therapies recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for those with an eating disorder. Every person is unique and the package offered will be carefully discussed and considered by the team and may vary according to the clients’ needs and circumstances. This may involve a combination of individual, group therapy and specialist dietetic input.