Media: April 2007 Archives
I was on Womans Hour on Radio 4 today. The programme was dedicated to the discussion of eating disorders and obesity today. Other contributors included Julia Buckroyd, Susan Ringwood from bEAT (formally the Eating Disorders Association) plus writers Candida Crewe and Susannah Jowitt.
It was a very enjoyable experience being on the programme and discussing my views with like-minded people. I have always wondered whether the discussion goes on after the programme goes off air and I can confirm that this does happen! I only wish that the health minister Caroline Flint had actually been in the studio with us rather than just on the phone as it would have spiced up the debate even more. I felt that she wasn't particularly engaged with the issues, and ducked the problem of the parlous state of the NHS in relation to access to psychological therapies. The suggestion that the upcoming review of the 2004 NICE guidelines for eating disorders would enable an assesment of how well they were being met was also quite at odds with what anyone with an eating disorder could tell you. The Layard report (commisioned by this same government) makes the point that we need to train 10,000 more therapists to even begin to cover the need for talking therapies in the NHS. Waiting lists are currently 6 months - 2 years; in the meantime people with eating disorders (as well as other conditions) are deteriorating and are often unable to work or contribute to society.
As always with such things, I was left wishing I'd had more time, or else been more succinct so that I could have fitted more points into the time I had on air. For example, I would have liked to spend more time describing new treatment approaches which myself and other colleagues are developing for anorexia nervosa, as well as mentioning the ambivalence about treatment which is a major aspect of the disorder.
Hopefully there will be another opportunity.
Womans Hour this wednesday will have a discussion on obesity and size zero. Could be interesting....