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Eating Disorders- Responsibility to monitor physical health

Eating Disorders - Responsibility to monitor physical health

Patients with severe mental illness (SMI) have higher risk of physical illnesses, and it is expected that general practices will perform regular physical welfare checks for patients with SMI, this is partially funded through QOF.

Patients with eating disorders have a much more complex set of physical complications.  Monitoring the physical welfare of patients with eating disorders is a specialist subject which general practices are not qualified to perform, and are also not funded to do.

Following the death of a patient with anorexia nervosa, the Cambridgeshire coroner advised that  specialist services should be commissioned  to carry out both psychological and physical care of patients with eating disorders.  The LMC is working with Lincolnshire CCG to ensure that this happens.  In the meantime practices should decline to carry out this monitoring as it is outside the scope of general practice training and competency.