Before coming in for an assessment we ask the young person to fill in and return some questionnaires and consent forms. This gives us additional information about things like their family, how they are feeling, eating behaviours and attitudes, and helps us to prepare for the assessment. Some of the questionnaires will be repeated throughout treatment so that we can make sure that the young person is making progress and we'll share the results with them and their family.
The initial assessment will be at Chalkhill, which is on the Princess Royal Hospital site in Haywards Heath, West Sussex. This normally takes between two and two and a half hours.
Our team includes experienced eating disorder specialists. We'll ask some questions about how each individual is feeling and the difficulties they are experiencing. We'll also talk about their goals. This assessment will help us understand more about the family and their needs and together we will decide on the best package of care, treatment and support. When we talk about the family we mean the young person, parents, carers and any other children they may have.
We will check the child/young person's height and weight and we'll also do some other physical health checks such as blood tests, blood pressure check and and an ECG (heart test).
After the assessment, if we have treatment that is suitable, we’ll talk to the family about where they would like the next appointments to be. It could be at one of our local clinics or somewhere in the local community.
All treatment and support is tailored to the individual and their family. It may include regular family meetings (weekly at first, reducing as things improve), individual sessions, group treatment sessions with the whole family and parent/carer skills workshops.
During treatment the family will work with an experienced multi-disciplinary team of clinicians. They may see a psychiatrist or paediatrician and we may prescribe medication, including supplements and multivitamins.
Research has shown that young people who are able to recover at home have fewer relapses and are more likely to sustain long-term recovery than those who are admitted to hospital. However, if we believe it is in the best interest of the child we may advise admission to hospital.