NSLHD Year in Review 2020

Eating disorders service team Caroline Hill, Gabriella Heruc and Simone Jacques

nslhd’s new eating disorders service

The newly established eating disorders service is breaking ground for the first time in Northern Sydney Local Health District with a dedicated service supporting clinical staff and the community.

With up to 16 per cent of Australians having experienced an eating disorder, NSW Health recognises the serious physical and psychological consequences of eating disorders and the significant burden they place on sufferers and their families. In 2014, the NSW Government established the NSW Service Plan for People with Eating Disorders (the Service Plan), with the soon to be released 2020-2024 Service Plan aiming to support better access, governance, innovation and quality care. Eating Disorder Coordinator, Caroline Hill, said: “Each local health district has an eating disorder coordinator, however, at NSLHD we are excited to have a dietitian, clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist on board.

“Eating disorders have the highest mortality and morbidity of any mental health illness. Many of our patients across our community, outpatient and inpatient services may experience disordered eating behaviours, however, they may not disclose these behaviours due to anxiety, shame or guilt.” Increasing staff awareness of the incidence, seriousness and warning signs of eating disorders will assist in screening patients, supporting them and linking them into appropriate services. Accessing evidence-based treatment provides patients with the best opportunity for recovery and quality of life. The new Eating Disorder Service - Simone Jaques (clinical psychologist), Gabriella Heruc (dietitian) and a psychiatrist - supports staff as they

look after patients in their care with an eating disorder. “The team’s role is to support staff and this may be through providing team inservices, attending interdisciplinary team meetings or case conferences or it could be in helping staff to find appropriate services for their patient,” said Caroline. “We also have a small outpatient service for over 18s who live in our LHD and are unable to access any other eating disorder specific services.” Staff can contact the eating disorder service for advice and support for patients with a diagnosed or suspected eating disorder or for further training and inservices.


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