Caring about someone with an eating disorder can be difficult. Whether you are a relative, friend or a colleague, you may be feeling concerned, confused and unsure about how to help. Carers of people with eating disorders may feel anxious because of the highly visible symptoms of starvation, abnormal food behaviours and personality change.
Understandably, this can lead to a desire to have information about the treatment, progress and well-being of their relative.
There are laws protecting individuals’ rights to privacy and guaranteeing them confidentiality, which means we are unable to share any personal information with carers without the permission of the individual patient.
All patients are however, given the option of choosing the level of carer involvement they would like and we encourage an open dialogue and close involvement whenever possible.
We do however aim to provide carers with sufficient information to help them provide care effectively.
We are able to give information on:
- Issues related to the illness in general
- The danger signs that can alert you to medical risk
- What to do in the event that you are concerned about health and safety
- Leicestershire Adult Eating Disorder Service and treatment programme, as well as other services available to you and your relative
- Further information about your rights as a carer
Any queries or concerns about the service please contact the team manager on 0116 225 2557.
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust now have a dedicated phone line so that people of all ages in Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland can access urgent NHS mental health support directly. Call handlers can assess, advise, support and signpost / refer to appropriate services. Please call 0808 800 3302 to access the phone support 24 hours a day. [Please note this is not an emergency service]
Support for Carers
This service recognises that carers have needs in their own right and that supporting a loved one with an eating disorder can be stressful. The service has put together a resource for the families and friends of people who have an eating disorder. A PDF version of this can be downloaded here.Friends, families & carers Pack
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust also have a general carers pack which you may find useful.
The service also facilitates an Friends and Family support group more details can be found here.
All carers are entitled to a Carers Assessment. This is carried out by Local Authorities but more information about accessing an assessment can be found on the NHS website.
There some free workshops provided by National Health Service Workforce Training and Education Directorate has worked in partnership with Charlie Waller Trust . Trained facilitators deliver the New Maudsley Approach carers skills workshops to parents and carers who are supporting a loved one with an eating disorder. Based on the New Maudsley approach, these courses have helped so many families to navigate their way through a seemingly impossible task and offer professional techniques for becoming a ‘Change Coach’ including:
• Dealing with challenging behaviour
• Specialised communication skills
• Avoiding traps that may maintain the disorder
• Supporting recovery
The aim of the New Maudsley Model is to lower anxiety and distress in family members and to give carers communication tools, skills and techniques that help them engage their loved one to improve their self-esteem and develop the resilience to embark on change. The courses are broken down into five, two-hour workshops and are full of practical tips, real life scenarios and case studies.
Links to more information are below
How can you help us?
Are you a parent, partner or loved one of some one who is using our service or has used our service in the past? We need your involvement, views and experiences as we develop and refine our eating disorder services in the East Midlands to ensure we put you at the centre of everything we do.
If you would like to know more or are interested in being involved please find more information here.
Once you have completed the form attached please upload it to us via this link. In the section ‘Which clinician is this upload for?' please select Patient and Carer Participation located at the bottom of the list.
Also if your loved one has been an inpatient on Langley Ward in the past we would like to hear your experience as a carer. Please complete the inpatient carer experience questionnare.
Directory of useful contacts:
Resources for Carers
- Anorexia and Bulimia Care offer peer to peer support for parents and carers
- Carers UK campaign for carers, and provide information and advice
- Carers Trust provide information, advice and support services for carers
- NHS Live Well have in their eating disorder section advice for parents and supporting someone with an eating disorder pages
- NHS.uk information about carers assessments and support.
- Family Lives provide information and advice to parents, and have a website or can be called on 0808 800 2222
- The New Maudsley Approach website offer a resource for carers of people with eating disorders
- F.E.A.S.T offer support and advice for carers of people with eating disorders
Resources for Carers Locally
- CLASP Leicester are a Leicestershire based charity helping families and carers 0116 251 0999
- Citizens Advice Bureau provide advice about your rights, responsibilities and entitlements
- Mind run a Legal Advice Service
- Rethink have a Rights & Law section on their website
Finances and Benefits
- Carers UK provide a downloadable Guide to Carers' Allowance on their website
- Rethink have resources dealing with finances and benefits on their website
- Citizens Advice Bureau provide information about benefits for carers and financial advice
- NHS.uk has information about carers benefits.
- Direct Gov have a Money, Tax and Benefits section on their website