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Highlights for 2017-18: Eating Disorders HIT

11 May 2018

Hugh Herzig, Helen Malson and Sanni Norweg, Directors of the Eating Disorders Health Integration Team (EDHIT), reflect on the team's work and achievements over the last year.

In February our patient and public involvement (PPI) group mounted an exhibition of photography at the Arnolfini, featuring work by people with personal experience of eating disorders. As well as viewing the exhibition, the 50 or so attendees had the chance to meet EDHIT members and talk about current activities, services and research developments.

Our regular PPI engagement evenings have continued to offer a forum for everyone to get an update on our work and share their own ideas and priorities. We held a small consultation evening in November, that explored people's experience of current services, their observations on obstacles to achieving good health, and the means they use to overcome the barriers. These discussions fed into a much bigger PPI event in March that involved public contributors from all the HITs. For further information on upcoming events, check the Bristol Health Partners events page or contact us at helloEDHIT@gmail.com.

The EDHIT research work stream’s regular half-day conference series is held at the University of Bristol Psychology Department. Brief presentations describe local and national priorities, research activities and service developments. We held one in November that was attended by around 30 people, a mix of students, researchers, commissioners and health care practitioners. It was a really good opportunity for a wide audience to hear about eating disorders research. The next will be in September 2018. Get in touch with us at helloEDHIT@gmail.com for information about future conferences.

Research that’s going on in collaboration with EDHIT includes:

  • Eating disorders prevention ‘body image projects’, one worth £18,600 involving UWE, STEPS, Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and South Gloucestershire Public Health, and another with Gloucester CCG worth £28,000
  • A new school-based intervention to challenge restrictive gender norms with the aim of preventing eating disorders and improving health and wellbeing in young people. This was funded £9,931 from UWE QR. Qualitative feedback shows the intervention was seen by students and staff as needed and effective
  • ‘How can we improve primary care for children and young people with eating disorders?’ This project involves a range of health, academic and voluntary-sector partners. Bristol CCG have awarded £17,588 of funding, with UWE support for two 50 hours postgraduate placements

EDHIT participants are also involved in other eating disorder research projects, including a multicentre trial of nasal spray Naloxone medication to treat bulimia, a qualitative investigation of patients’ experience of leaving inpatient treatment, the TRIANGLE multicentre trial of ways to support patients and carers at times of care transition, and a PhD study looking in detail at the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of people with anorexia.

The EDHIT transitions work stream has mapped out service pathways especially between young people and adult services. We identified ways for services to work together more seamlessly: adult (STEPs) and adolescent (CAMHS) services are now adapting their care pathways to promote this. The UK-wide training in eating disorders for CAMHS teams has also been attended by STEPs, who in turn have provided training to CAMHS. This increased collaboration has inspired future research.

Future EDHIT projects include developing a mobile phone app for use by people with eating disorders, with collaborators who have already developed an effective mental health app.

Who are we?

Some of the people involved in EDHIT are changing. Dr Hugh Herzig is retiring from his job as Consultant Psychiatrist at the adult eating disorder service STEPs. He is replaced as co-director by Sanni Norweg, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at STEPs. Katie Legge has joined the management group and leads the patient and public involvement work stream together with Ellen Devine. Sanni Norweg continues to lead the transitions work stream. Helen Malson, Associate Professor, Social Psychology at UWE, is EDHIT co-director. Helen leads the research work stream with Peter Rogers, Professor of Biological Psychology at University of Bristol.

Highlights for 2017-18: Eating Disorders HIT
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