During a debate in Parliament this morning on Eating Disorder Awareness Week, local MP Tim Farron urged the mental health minister Jackie Doyle-Price to personally investigate why so many young people with eating disorders aren’t being picked up by health officials.
According to figures obtained by the eating disorder charity BEAT, 13 young people were registered as living with an eating disorder in Cumbria, despite the fact that on average Tim deals with one new case of someone with an eating disorder every week.
Tim said: “It’s baloney. We all know that’s not true. I would comfortably say its ten times that number.
“So, what is happening that our young people with eating disorders are falling through the gaps?
“I would especially ask the minister to investigate, personally, why this is happening particularly in South Lakeland but I suspect around the country as well.”
Tim also raised the issue of it being three years ago to this very week that health bosses promised a specialist one-to-one eating disorder service for South Cumbria, but there is still no sign of such a service being set up.
And he also expressed his dismay at the number of people with eating disorders who have been told that they weren’t ‘thin enough’ to be treated.
Tim said: “Would somebody who had been diagnosed with stage 1 cancer be told ‘clear off until you’ve got stage 4, come back when you’re at death’s door?
“But that is how we treat people with mental health conditions, and in particular living with eating disorders.
“Some people with eating disorders may have no appreciable or noticeable weight loss, but still have an eating disorder and that needs to be tackled and tackled now.”
To watch Tim’s speech during the debate, go here.