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Government pledges £150m towards tackling eating disorders

The Government has pledged to invest £150 million over five years to improve services for children and young people with eating disorders, including quickening access.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that the children and young people will have greater access to talking therapies and to community teams that will help prevent hospital admissions as part of the Autumn Statement.

Waiting time limits will also be introduced as part of a strategy to give mental health services equivalent status to physical health services, said Mr Clegg.

He added that there will be fewer transfers to adult services and an end to the current ‘cliff edge of transition’ for young people with eating disorders, who frequently see their support dwindle or disappear once they turn 18.

NHS figures released last month showed that 98 children aged just 5-7 have been admitted to hospital during the last three years with eating disorders.

Mr Clegg said: ‘Too often children with mental health problems are being completely let down, with many suffering from eating disorders that go unreported and untreated. That’s why we need to act now to transform the current system – intervening earlier with dedicated and targeted community-based services to ensure that we don’t fail this generation or the next.’