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Last Updated: Friday, 22 September 2006, 08:05 GMT 09:05 UK
Unit for eating disorder patients
The Haldon Unit. Picture: Devon Partnership NHS Trust
Health bosses say the unit will be a homely environment
A new unit devoted to treating people in Devon and Cornwall with eating disorders has opened in Exeter.

The Haldon Unit is the first of its kind in the area and will use a mixture of nursing, psychiatry, art and drama therapy, and dietetics in its work.

The first patients will be admitted to the 12-bed unit on Monday. It aims to treat up to 40 over-16s a year.

About 2m a year is spent across Devon and Cornwall on treating eating disorders mainly among the young.

'Major step'

Based at Wonford House Hospital in Exeter, the unit is a joint initiative between the mental health providers in Cornwall, Devon and Plymouth.

Patients, who previously had to travel as far away as Northampton for help, are expected to stay at the unit for about three months each.

Its creation follows a successful 18-month pilot project in north Devon. Marian Titley, a consultant clinical psychologist at the unit, said: "The opening of the Haldon Unit represents a major step forward within the peninsula.

"As well as a lot of thought and planning going into the development of the treatment programme, which will focus on the needs of each person, a lot of hard work has gone into ensuring that the environment of the unit is homely, relaxing, welcoming and reassuring."



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