Eating disorder ‘app’ is to be created locally

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The Eating Disorder Service in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust has been awarded the Martha McMenamin Scholarship which will enable them to develop online services for service users.

The Service provides patient-centred care for those with severe anorexia, bulimia and atypical eating disorders. The team applied for the scholarship to help develop the Stamp-ED support group website.

Imelda McLeod, Eating Disorder Clinical Services Manager, commented: “Working so closely with the support group has enabled us as a service to have a greater understanding of the many different triggers for the illness, which is no respecter of intellect, family history or childhood experience.

“We were really keen as a service to modernise and use digital technology to support people regardless of where they are or who they are with.”

The team also plan to launch a digital app as part of the development which will include tailored support in terms of meal plans, appointment times and their individual treatment plan. The Northern Trust will be the first Eating Disorder Team across the whole of Northern Ireland to have such an app which will be developed in partnership with Queen’s University.

Imelda continued: “This means that service users can readily access their treatment plans and, if they are feeling vulnerable, their personal goals to reaffirm their desire to change and help them to stay on track to recovery.”

The Martha McMenamin Scholarship is awarded by the Western Health and Social Care Trust to those organisations who show a commitment to innovative practice. The Trust plans to publish the outcomes of the scholarship to help develop the understanding and Treatment of Eating Disorders.