Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Friday, 10 July 2009 12:55 UK

Teams to tackle eating disorders

Eating disorders usually start to be a problem in teenage years

Support for people in Wales with serious eating disorders such as anorexia will receive a boost.

Two specialist teams in Wales are being created to improve diagnosis and links with services.

More staff are to be recruited and new training courses for health professionals will be provided.

Health Minister Edwina Hart said it should lower risks for sufferers, while Conservatives welcomed the announcement, but called it overdue.

The two teams of health professionals for North and South Wales will liaise with services on the ground.

They will also offer specialist help and provide access to therapies for patients and their families.

Ms Hart said: "Providing earlier specialist support will reduce the need for patients to access inpatient services.

"But where this is needed, more services will be available to support them and enable them to recover and live more independently sooner."

Conservative health spokesman Andrew RT Davies said: "This is a welcome, if long overdue development. Patients with eating disorders have suffered from poor standards of care in Wales for far too long."

Eating disorders affect seven girls in every 1,000, and one boy in every 1,000.

It usually begins to be a problem in teenage years, but can happen at any time.

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