Tomorrow I am at long last meeting with my MP to talk about eating disorders. I'll be focusing on the 16+ issues i.e. the way parents are eliminated from the equation once a child officially becomes and "adult" - and that these "adults" are expected to be capable of making their own decisions as to whether or not they require treatment. Indeed, whether or not they are ill.
I will talk about the way, once a child reaches 17 or 18, they are discharged from CAMHS, sometimes from a treatment team they are working well with and have built a good relationship with, into Adult Services which means starting the relationship all over again. And who's to say they will end up with someone they "click" with or who is any good? Also, parents who have been an essential part of their child's treatment up to this point are suddenly excluded, unless the child allows them to continue to play a part.
Others who reach the "magic" age of 17 or 18, like my son, are deemed to be sufficiently "recovered" not to warrant transfer to Adult Services, especially if their BMI isn't considered to be specifically low. And follow-up can be non-existent.
I will also be talking about the patchy nature of eating disorder referrals and treatment across the UK plus waiting times.So far, from my talks with other UK-based parents, it appears that my son's wait for treatment was by far the longest. We were told 18-22 weeks, if you remember, from the date we eventually received confirmation of the GP's referral in the post. So my MP needs to know this, because if we had to wait such a dangerously long time, then presumably other families in our area are having to wait, too.