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Managing Emergencies in Eating Disorders – new guidance from the RCPsych

Updated on: 20 May 2022   First published on 19 May 2022

To tackle the serious harms, up to and including death, associated with eating disorders, it is crucial that more is done to identify them at the earliest stage possible so that the appropriate care and treatment can be provided.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has published new guidance, endorsed by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, on how to respond to Medical Emergencies in Eating Disorders (MEED).

This guidance, based on the advice and recommendations of an Expert Working Group, provides a comprehensive overview of the latest evidence associated with eating disorders, including highlighting the importance and role of healthcare professionals from right across the spectrum, recognising the opportunities that exist for improving outcomes if the workforce is supported in delivering their responsibilities in this area.

Primarily aimed at any healthcare professional likely to encounter patients with severe eating disorders, the guidance provides advice on assessing all eating disorders that can lead a patient into a state of clinical emergency. It also includes information and advice on how to manage their physical, nutritional, and psychiatric care. It also includes an eating disorders risk assessment tool using a ‘traffic light’ system, to aid decisions on emergency management.

The guidance provides a set of summary sheets with tailored advice for the different target groups of this document, including medical professionals, people with eating disorders and their families or carers, and recommendations for commissioners on required services.

Please download and share the guidance here.


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