Launch of the NSW Service Plan for Eating Disorders

On September 11, 2013 The NSW Minister for Health the Hon. Jillian Skinner and the NSW Minister for Mental Health the Hon. Kevin Humphries launched the NSW Service plan for eating disorders 2013-2018 (to view the launch click here).  The plan is the first of its kind stating that Eating Disorders and the provision of a range of appropriate evidence based treatments for them is now part of the core business of every local health district in NSW.

In this section of our website we aim to present information that may assist you, at the local health district level, to think about how you might begin enhancing services for people with eating disorders within the context of your local system and services. This section of the website is not intended as a complete service development ‘how to’; the development of the range of services recommended in the Service Plan described and attached below, will take a great deal of coordination, time, training and implementation within each LHD.

We offer here information on evidence based approaches to treatment of eating disorders, both within hospital and at the community level, to help local clinicians and service planners think about where they are best placed to begin service and workforce enhancement.  We also offer information (coming soon) on how to go about  planning a service for your area, tools for mapping existing resources, scoping a potential program, convening a service development team and carrying out the necessary processes to bring a new service to fruition, or to enhance the capacity of an existing service to deliver evidence based therapies and treatments for people with eating disorders as part of their core business.


Background Information

While NSW Local Health Districts and Networks (LHDs) have responsibility for assessing and delivering treatment to people with eating disorders, they are at different stages of readiness to provide more than short-term nonspecialist responses, delivered through general services.

The NSW Service Plan for People with Eating Disorders (the Service Plan) establishes a clear service goal for LHD Mental Health Services to establish models of care that support a significant degree of clinical expertise and self sufficiency. The aim is to ensure timely access to developmentally appropriate services that respond to all levels of clinical need.

To support clinicians, the Service Plan includes a focus on strong governance, linkages and structures to support clinicians and service access across the state.

Over the past ten years, several treatment models delivered in various settings have been demonstrated to deliver significant rates of full remission from eating disorders. Other models have proven effective in supporting improvement or stabilisation of symptoms and bringing about improvements in quality of life even where recovery is significantly delayed. Services should be developmentally appropriate, flexible and reflect the difficulties associated with early engagement, ongoing treatment and fluctuations in risk. The range of eating disorder service options that are therefore needed across the health system can be conceptualised in four main delivery areas:

  1. community-based interventions
  2. specialist outpatient treatment
  3. hospital-based interventions
  4. tertiary specialist inpatient treatment


pdficon_small  DOWNLOAD The 4 Page Summary of the NSW Service Plan for People with Eating Disorders 2013-2018