Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Tel. 01 230 35 36

Eating disorders Model of Care launched [24/01/18]

The HSE has launched a new Model of Care for the treatment of eating disorders in Ireland. This is a blueprint for how services for patients with eating disorders will be developed and continuously improved nationally. The aim is to improve quality and safety, access to services for all ages and provide value for money in how these services are delivered.  The HSE’s partners in developing this model were Bodywhys and the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland. A four year implementation plan has been approved to allow for phased recruitment and training.

The National Clinical Programme for Eating Disorders (NCP-ED) is a joint initiative between the HSE Clinical Strategy and Programmes Division and the Mental Health Division. An Eating Disorders Clinical Advisory Group from the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland also provides external clinical advice and support to the programme.

This programme applies to HSE mental health services for children and adults with eating disorders in Ireland. Eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorders (BED), and other eating disorders. This NCP- ED applies to all clinical stages of eating disorders, from early recognition though treatment and into recovery. The programme does not encompass feeding disorders. The programme aims to work in integration with other HSE clinical programmes where collaborative solutions are needed to improve clinical service delivery for people with eating disorders e.g. paediatrics, primary care, acute medicine, palliative care, emergency medicine  etc.

The programme aims to improve:



·         To improve the clinical outcomes and recovery of people with eating disorders though the provision of evidence based practice by trained, skilled staff.

·         To reduce the comorbidity and mortality associated with eating disorders through enhanced clinical risk management and early intervention.

·         To remain patient centred by including service user feedback in the development of clinical services for eating disorders.

·         To evaluate the effectiveness of the NCP- ED in terms of both clinical and activity outcomes.


·         To enhance screening and early recognition of eating disorders.

·         To provide timely access to consultation for referrers.

·         To reduce internal and external waiting times to initial assessment and treatment.

·         To provide a stepped care model of service delivery based on patient need.

·         To establish formal pathways that enable more seamless transitions of people with eating disorders across services


·         To reduce the significant long term health, economic and psychosocial cost of eating disorders through early intervention.

·         To reduce the duration of illness and promote recovery through the provision of evidence based interventions.

·         To reduce dependence on inpatient admission (numbers/ length of stay) though the provision of alternative options for day/ intensive treatment and step down care.

·         To reduce relapse rates though the above measures.


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