Local MPs back eating disorder unit at the RVI
Seven local MPs have signed a joint letter to the Minister of Health urging him to ensure that the Richardson Eating Disorder Service at the RVI remains open.
The MPs believe that travelling to Darlington is not an acceptable alternative for those in such a vulnerable condition as the support of friends and family is crucial when eating disorder sufferers need inpatient treatment. There is a real need to retain the beds and service at the RVI which has a proven track record all the more important as, sadly, the numbers of people needing the service in the North East is increasing.
Ms Onwurah said:
“ Newcastle has a first class eating disorder unit, the Richardson Eating Disorder Service based in the Royal Victoria Infirmary, a modern city centre hospital.
“ It has provided a professional eating disorder in and outpatient service for the last sixteen years and meets all the service specifications.
“ The Care Quality Commission and Royal College of Psychiatrists consider it to be an excellent unit.
“ It lost the last tendering process to Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust who at the time did not operate an inpatient unit. It was subsequently approved as an ‘any qualified provider’ of inpatient beds.
“ I and my colleagues want the minister to ensure we do not lose this excellent unit in the RVI at a time when regrettably eating disorders appear to be increasing and local people have ended up being offered beds and treatment in Leeds and Manchester.