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Tuesday, 24 January 2023

New pilot service launched to support adults with eating disorders in south west London

The Trust’s adult eating disorders outpatient service is piloting a new team which will offer intensive support and treatment to patients in their own homes or in the community. The new Enhanced Treatment Team (ETT) will target patients referred for an inpatient admission and where appropriate provide intensive community support as an alternative. The ETT will also support patients’ discharge from our inpatient service Avalon ward.

Enhanced Treatment TeamSpringfield Hospital 28

The ETT will sit within the Trust’s outpatient service. Patients will be offered a tailored care and treatment plan for a 4–8-week period, to avoid the need for an inpatient admission. The ETT will also focus on supporting an earlier discharge from Avalon ward, reducing patients’ length of stay.

The ETT will work on a referral basis and only patients referred for inpatient care will be considered for treatment by the ETT. When a referral is received, a decision will be made about the most appropriate treatment which could either be an inpatient admission or 4–8-week treatment plan with the ETT. Decisions will be made by a multidisciplinary group of professionals in South London Mental Health and Community Partnership’s referrals team.

Multi-disciplinary team of specialists

Once a referral has been accepted, a member of the team will assess the patient’s individual needs and develop a tailored package of care which may include the following: meal support, physical monitoring, practical support, psychology, family therapy/family support and occupational therapy.

The multi-disciplinary team of specialists, which will include a consultant, nurses, dietitian, family therapist, occupational therapist and outreach workers, will offer intensive treatment and frequent appointments in the community, either in patients’ own homes or another local setting they feel comfortable in. At the end of the 4–8-week treatment plan, the aim is that patients will return to the care of our outpatient or day eating disorder services.

Stefanie Looker, matron for all age eating disorder services, said: “This is a really exciting change for our adult eating disorders service. The new team will provide vital care and support to those who would benefit from more intensive treatment than is provided by our outpatient service, which could avoid the need for an inpatient admission entirely. By offering tailored, focused support in people’s own homes and closer to family and friends, we hope it will avoid or reduce time in hospital and improve patients’ chances of a full recovery.”

South London Mental Health and Community Partnership

The pilot service has been designed in partnership with carers and patients and is a joint initiative by South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLStG) and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Both trusts are working together as members of the South London Mental Health and Community Partnership (SLP) which brings together clinical expertise, experience and innovation to benefit patients.

There will be two separate ETTs, one serving each trust, who will work collaboratively and meet regularly to share learning. The ETT at SWLStG will support patients from Kingston, Richmond, Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth.

Improving our community services

This is an exciting time for our community mental health services. The Enhanced Treatment Team pilot is part of the Trust’s wider clinical transformation programme which is focused on improving and redesigning our community services to ensure they are increasing quality years, reducing inequalities and fit for the future. Together with service users, colleagues and key partners, we are working to ensure patients are offered the right care and support as they need it, in the community and closer to home.

For enquiries about the ETT, please contact


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