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January 12, 2005

People with eating disorders are being let down

January 11, 2005 Sheffield UK

People with potentially fatal eating disorders are being let down by the NHS, a city expert claimed today.
One city GP even told a young woman with an eating disorder to "go home and drink a pint of milk and have a treat."

At least 11,000 people in the city are living with eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia nervosa but most are unable to get help, according to South Yorkshire Eating Disorders Association.
Spokesperson Christine Taylor claims Government health guidelines stating sufferers should have immediate access to specialist health services are being ignored because there is little NHS help available in Sheffield.
Few city GPs are trained to help, there is only a limited NHS community service, and hospital psychiatric wards are ill-equipped to tackle emotional issues at the root of the mental health disorder, she claims.
"We get people who go to see their GP and are told 'it is not my area of expertise'. In another case a young woman was told 'go home and drink a pint of milk and have a treat'. The GP wasn't going to see her for four weeks," said Christine.
"There is a lack of understanding that specialist help is needed to tackle eating disorders which are totally misunderstood."
Anorexia is often described as a 'slimmer's disease' but is actually a mental illness. Sufferers rigidly control their eating to cope with the difficulties of life and not eating can be used as a way to block painful feelings. Bulimics eat huge quantities of food, then throw it up, as a way to deal with emotional distress.
Young women aged from 14-25 are mostly likely to develop an eating disorder but men, children as young as eight, and older women can develop the problem, which can persist for life.
The local association runs support groups, but Christine said a massive expansion in services is needed because so many people are suffering in silence.
She said people who are dangerously underweight through anorexia are often reluctant to go into hospital because they are not able to get psychiatric treatment, and have concerns about being labelled mentally ill.
Sheffield Care Trust runs an NHS service in the community to help those with severe eating disorders but it can only help 50 people at a time.
She said: "We can provide support and self-help literature. But there needs to be many more services. These are complex conditions because of the denial, secrecy and embarrassment of the disease. Ninety per cent of people affected do not access the NHS."
Sheffield Care Trust said: "We provide a service for people with anorexia nervosa and bulimia, prioritising those with the most severe difficulties. It is the only NHS service of its kind in the area.
"Urgent cases are always seen quickly If a client needs psychiatric help, they will be assessed and treated by one of Sheffield Care Trust's services."

Posted by Nancy at 03:14 PM | Comments (0)

Reno-area man headed back to prison again for child abuse

January 12, 2005 Reno, NV [AP]

A Reno-area man who earlier served nine years in prison for child abuse was sentenced to up to ten years in prison Tuesday for abusing his eleven-day-old daughter last year.

34-year-old Stacy Michael Dozier of Sun Valley was arrested in February and later admitted to police he injured the infant when he became frustrated that she would not stop crying.

Washoe County Deputy District Attorney Kelli Anne Viloria says it was the same reason he had given law officers in the previous case for injuries caused to another infant. That child suffered permanent brain damage.

Prosecutors say Dozier took the bruised and bleeding baby to a local hospital emergency room on February 26th.

Later tests showed the girl had suffered a fractured arm.

Dozier apologized for hurting the child during Tuesday's sentencing before Washoe County District Judge Connie Steinheimer.

The judge says he "should have known better" given that he served nine years in prison for similar conduct. He will not be eligible for parole until he serves a minimum of four years.

Posted by Nancy at 06:45 AM | Comments (0)