Lack of local anorexia services in West Dublin “shocking and appalling”

by Padraig Conlon

A councillor has blasted the HSE and Minister for Health over a case involving a local woman with anorexia.

Independents4Change Councillor Ruth Nolan says she is appealing to Simon Harris to intervene and make services available to a young woman who is seriously ill and desperately in need of help.

“What is happening with regards to free services for people suffering from anorexia in the local area is a national disgrace and needs to be highlighted,” Cllr Nolan told Dublin Gazette.

“I was contacted by a mother of a young girl who is at home and suffering from anorexia.

“Her daughter was in a facility in Cherry Orchard receiving treatment but upon turning 18 some months ago she was discharged.

“She then went to Ballyfermot Health Centre, the only available facility in her area but it doesn’t have a psychiatrist who specialises in anorexia and also doesn’t have a dietician which is an absolute necessity.

“The only other place in the area which could help her is St Vincent’s in Elm Park but because she isn’t from the catchment area she would have to pay and as she can’t afford to pay she is at home.

“Her weight is getting dangerously low and all her poor mother can do is sit and watch, basically unable to do anything to help her daughter.

“It is not acceptable that there’s only one specialist facility in Dublin which treats patients with anorexia, this is an outrage.

“This is a nightmare for patients with anorexia and their families and the public should be aware of the shocking, appalling lack of services.

“I am appealing to both the HSE and Minister Simon Harris to intervene and make services available right away.”

Dublin Gazette contacted the HSE about availability of free services for people suffering from anorexia in the area.

A spokesperson told us:

“HSE Dublin South, Kildare & West Wicklow Community Healthcare would advise anyone with a health concern to contact their local General Practitioner (GP) in the first instance, as their GP will be able to refer the person to the necessary services they require.

“If a person is seriously ill and requires emergency care, the HSE would recommend that the person present to their Accident and Emergency Unit in their local Hospital.

“The Model of Care for Eating Disorders was launched in 2018 and development posts have been allocated to both Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Adult Mental Health Services to develop the programme.

“HSE CAMHS has been approved posts to provide a community based treatment service for patients and beds are provided in the Linn Dara Inpatient Unit based in Cherry Orchard.

“This is to provide services on a regional basis.

“With regard to adults, HSE Community Healthcare East have been allocated posts to provide beds and community services on behalf of Dublin South, Kildare & West Wicklow Community Healthcare and that service is currently developing with a view to rolling out regionally in the future.

“Accordingly, all such cases are dealt with in the local Community Adult Mental Health Team.

“If this person is already attending the Ballyfermot Community Mental Health Team, the HSE would encourage them to contact their treating consultant.

“All such cases are dealt with in the local Community Adult Mental Health Team, in this case, should the treating consultant feel that their needs exceed the capacity of routine services in the community, a referral can be made through the Clinical Director for access to specialist mental health services should it be required.”

Related Articles