March 25, 2010

Crumlin eating disorder unit gets green light

Gary Culliton
Irish Medical Times

25th March 2010

An eating disorder unit is to be set up in the new National Paediatric Hospital for six to eight inpatient children, Prof Fiona McNicholas, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Crumlin Hospital, told the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health recently.

A priority would be to cluster some beds in Crumlin Hospital, which could become the interim eating disorder unit, Prof McNicholas said. “We’ve been asking for that for the past ten years,” she added.

Anorexia and bulimia occur in about 1 per cent to 2 per cent of adolescents and young adults, most commonly females, but they also occur in boys and males, and possibly increasingly so.

The broader group, those who have not lost sufficient weight to be medically compromised, extends to 5 per cent to 10 per cent of the population.

The plan is to develop ‘not just an inpatient unit but a day hospital, a step-down facility and intensive outpatient facilities for individuals close enough to Dublin to attend on a daily basis’.