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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 January, 2005, 07:54 GMT
Eating disorder concerns voiced
Rachael, anorexia sufferer
Anorexia is an increasing problem in Scotland
The Scottish Executive has been accused of not doing enough to help people suffering from eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia.

The Scottish chairwoman of the Royal College of Psychiatrists made the criticism in written evidence to Holyrood's health committee.

Dr Denise Coia believes services are "woefully inadequate" and that no improvement has been made since 2001.

The committee is meeting in the north east to hear evidence from campaigners.

Eating disorders are an increasing problem in Scotland, with about 10% of young women affected by such conditions.

We must recognise that NHS boards have to consider a large number of competing priorities in planning and resourcing services
Scottish Executive

They are becoming more widespread despite a report in 2001 which called on health chiefs to draw up plans to tackle the illness.

The health committee is meeting in Stonehaven on Tuesday as part of an inquiry into eating disorders.

Anorexia nervosa has the highest death rate of any psychiatric illness and is estimated to affect one in 100 women.

Care centre

The Eating Disorders Association complained in 2003 that fewer than 10% of patients were receiving treatment.

Scotland's first specialist day care centre for young sufferers was opened that year at Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow.

The Scottish Executive said ministers welcomed the opportunity for the health committee to examine the subject.

A spokesperson said: "Mental health, within which eating disorder services are usually provided, is one of the executive's three clinical priorities for NHS Scotland.

Planning and delivery

"We must recognise that NHS boards have to consider a large number of competing priorities in planning and resourcing services.

"Ministers accept that there is still some way to go on the organisation and planning of eating disorders services and they have urged boards to collaborate on planning and delivery issues."

The Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care, Rhona Brankin, will meet the health committee on 25 January.

Anorexia centre opened
28 Mar 03 |  Scotland
Anorexia 'has genetic basis'
07 Oct 01 |  Health
Birthday blues for anorexics
09 Aug 01 |  Health
Anorexia: A case history
30 May 00 |  Health

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