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Eating Disorder Treatment and Programmes

Personalised modular inpatient and outpatient eating disorder treatment programmes are available across the Ellern Mede patient pathway. Programmes include short-stay symptom interruption or intervention from a few days to a few weeks; partial hospitalisation; short-term inpatient care through to longer-term inpatient programmes. We treat all types of eating disorders and have an extensive experience in treating eating disorders at all stages, from the first diagnosis, through treatment-resistance, to severe and enduring cases.

Eating Disorder Outpatient Treatment Programmes
Ellern Mede’s Outpatient Treatment Programmes are offered at Ellern Mede Ridgeway or Ellern Mede Barnet. These modular eating treatment programmes can be planned in four, six or eight week blocks for ease of planning and budgeting or can simply be booked as you wish. Most clinical sessions are one hour although an initial therapeutic assessment is between 1.5 to 2 hours. Telephone or Skype support sessions can be arranged as part of the care plan, once a care plan is active. During an Outpatient Treatment Programme, we  work with your GP for physical monitoring and blood tests. All programmes and leading eating disorder therapies are available in standard or intensive types of programme depending on the patient’s needs or preferences. These are private services and payment needs to be made in advance or be authorised in advance by a medical insurer. We will send you Terms and Conditions prior to your initial appointment.

Family Therapy Based Programmes for Patients and their Families Outpatient/Inpatient

Ellern Mede’s specialist Family Therapists support patients and their families, drawing on family strengths and relationships to support recovery from the eating disorder. The philosophy of care behind Ellern Mede’s family therapy work emphasises two important principles: the cause of the eating disorder is unknown; we recognise the essential role of the family in recovery.

The aim of Ellern Mede eating disorder treatment interventions is to develop skills for the patient and the patient’s family. Together, these skills and insight aid recovery. Family Therapy complements the many other therapies we offer including Psychiatry, Psychology and Pharmacotherapy. The importance of parent and family involvement in eating disorders treatment, particularly for patients who are children or young people, cannot be emphasised enough. The ability of the family to provide consistent support and supervision is the most important variable in sustaining progress toward recovery. It is also important that the parents and clinical team work closely together in adjusting the approach and the level of support they provide in response to the patient’s progress. This programme is available to families of any patient receiving an inpatient or outpatient treatment at an Ellern Mede hospital, by arrangement.

Ellern Mede Inpatient Treatment Programmes

Inpatient Treatment Programmes for Eating Disorders are available at both Ellern Mede Ridgeway in Mill Hill and Ellern Mede Barnet, both hospitals in north London. A range of modular programmes can be offered to suit the patient and family needs, ranging from day treatments or short term inpatient care to longer term inpatient care. There is also a programme for whatever the stage of eating disorder of the patient, whether it is early in the diagnosis or following multiple previous eating disorder treatments. Our treatment for eating disorders is impressive with an excellent track record of patient recovery. We have low readmission evidencing sustained health following discharge. We receive very positive feedback from former patients and their families. All programmes aim to deliver weight restoration, medical and psychiatric health, well being and post discharge support. Throughout inpatient stays there is a close link between the patient, the patient family and the clinical team.  Our outpatient clinics provide treatment for children from aged 8 through to those at the transition age into adult services up to age 25. We treat people with a primary diagnosis of an eating disorder as well as related conditions such as anxiety. 

Ellern Mede Barnet

Ellern Mede offers intensive short-term family based treatment programmes as well as longer term inpatient stays.  Our team have seen firsthand that there is positive evidence for short-term success from a children’s hospital eating disorders programme we observed in Denver Colorado. Short term inpatient care is followed by extended-day treatment. In Colorado, parents were involved in the programme and attended for two days per week.

Family-oriented treatment approaches for eating disorders, such as the Family Based Approach (Locke, Le Grange), have been shown to be effective in improving outcomes for children and young people with anorexia. The aim of our programmes include interrupting symptoms, coaching parents to be in charge of their child’s weight restoration and recovery, so that they can be more empowered to fight the illness.

Adult Transition Programmes

Ellern Mede’s highly specialised Transition Eating Disorder inpatient programme at Ellern Mede Barnet supports young adults up to age 25. Outpatient follow up care can also be arranged.

The programme follows NICE guidelines for treatment. The time and duration of treatment is agreed with each client.

Ellern Mede High Dependency Inpatient Programme for Children

One of Ellern Mede’s longest running and most effective programmes are High Dependency Programmes, most often purchased by NHS England on behalf of young people. These are now offered both at Ellern Mede Ridgeway and Ellern Mede Barnet. We are renowned for achieving results with young patients with severe and enduring eating disorders cases where many other specialist units have been unable to do so.  Patients with highly complex, challenging or chronic conditions emerge from treatment, which does take time, with the coping skills they need to live a successful and healthy life independently, and without relapse and readmission. This outcome is seen among young people who are at admission, resistant to treatment, severely medically compromised, and who may have a history of serious self-harm and risk. We never give up, and our results continue to amaze professionals and families alike.

Our inpatient services span from Tier 4 CAMHS to private by appointment programmes. High dependency service provides both medical and psychiatric treatment, specialised equipment, adapted facilities to cater for patients with limited mobility or more intense physical needs. Equipment includes cardiac monitors, defibrillators, hoists, profile beds, disability bathrooms and bedrooms and lifts. We offer medical and nursing interventions and laboratory investigations. We can provide naso-gastric feeds, pump feeds and gastrostomy feeding. These interventions are supported with high levels of specialised nursing, regular medical monitoring, psycho-social interventions, family therapy, and dietetic services.

Ellern Mede Recovery Programmes

The Ellern Mede Eating Disorder Recovery Programmes on general eating disorder wards provide physical and psychiatric stabilisation with the aim of a shorter length of stay than is necessary in high dependency wards. We admit both private and NHS patients. Everything the patient experiences in our unit has a therapeutic aspect to it, from therapy to activities and meals. Treatment is recovery-focused. Most of these patients will also attend Ellern Mede School, which is a separate funding arrangement through the relevant local authority, or privately funded.

For those patients who are able to eat with staff support we use a ‘graded’ table system combined with community based activity such as social eating.

Many patients are referred through NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) and return to CAMHS care in the community post discharge. Sometimes, CAMHS agree to fund ongoing Post Discharge and Transition support in addition to what they provide in the community. This would involve different funders for example CCGs, local authorities or social care.

Many patients come to Ellern Mede through non NHS funded means, both from UK and other countries.

Each patient has an individual treatment programme and a part of this is their own meal plan developed with the support of our specialist dietetic team. Individual and group therapy is also offered to all young people, together with family therapy. We promote the centrality of the family in providing support at home.

We provide regular Multi Disciplinary Team (MDT) reports on the progress of your child, which includes the opportunity for you and your child to offer feedback to our treating team.

Home leave is a key part of the rehabilitation phase of this treatment. We work towards discharge and provide the opportunity for the young people and their families to practise the skills they have acquired through treatment.

NHS referrals

Ellern Mede has provided specialist Tier 4 eating disorder services to the NHS since 2000. We respond to referrals within 24 hours.

Private referrals

Call now for immediate access to Ellern Mede specialist private eating disorder services. Accepted referrals begin treatment within two weeks or faster in emergencies.