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New online eating disorder learning available for GPs and primary care clinicians

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on people’s mental health and NHS staff have responded rapidly to support those who need care, including treating record numbers of children and adults with eating disorders.

Eating disorders are common and Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. However, people with eating disorders have better recovery rates and a reduced risk of relapse when they receive the right support as early as possible.

To support GPs and primary clinicians in understanding and supporting people of all ages with an eating disorder, Health Education England (HEE) has worked in partnership with experts by experience, NHS England and Improvement and the charity Beat to launch online eating disorder learning.

The three sessions take approximately 30-40 minutes to complete each and can be completed at the learner’s own pace. The learning also includes an assessment framework, a GP appointment involving an eating disorder assessment role-play demonstration and reflects with the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ new Medical Emergencies in Eating Disorders (MEED) guidance.

To further increase the support for people with eating disorders, mental health services, including eating disorder services, will see an additional £2.3 billion every year as part of the NHS Long Term Plan ambitions and an expansion of community-based mental health care to provide support for 370,000 adults.

Alongside the expansion, NHS England and NHS Improvement and HEE are working in partnership to develop and deliver a comprehensive training programme. This programme will improve the support received by those with eating disorders, including training in NICE-recommended psychological therapies, whole team training and training for non-specialist staff to improve identification and support throughout the system.

To find out more, visit the eating disorders e-learning programme webpage. Additional mental health learning can be found on HEE’s mental health webpage or contact

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