Eating Disorder Ward to Reopen @CPFT_NHS

An eating disorder ward for young people operated by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust is to re-open.

The Phoenix Centre, based at the Trust’s Ida Darwin site, Fulbourn Cambridge, is to begin accepting patients again on Monday, 8 October.

The ward, which provides specialist eating disorder services for 13 to 18-year-olds from across the East of England, was temporarily closed in a joint decision by the CPFT and commissioners NHS England in May this year due to a shortage of specialist nursing staff.

But the ward is now reopening following an extensive recruitment campaign which has seen a new ward manager join the unit along with an additional five nurses, an occupational therapist, and seven health care assistants.

The Phoenix Centre, a 12-bed ward, now has close to 40 members of staff.

Since the closure, the team has developed a new treatment pathway to ensure young people continue to benefit from the latest advances in care for those with eating disorders.

Rachel Hawkins, Interim Associate Director of Operations for CPFT’s Children, Young People and Family Directorate, said: “We are really pleased that the Phoenix Centre is re-opening.

“There is a national shortage of qualified, specialist staff nursing staff, especially among those who want to work in eating disorders. We already had been successful in recruiting to our vacant posts but while we waited for them to arrive, we took the very difficult decision to temporarily close the ward.

“The whole team has used the intervening time to ensure our patients will receive the best possible care. A new treatment pathway – which received vital input from young people who have received treatment at the Phoenix Centre – has been developed and staff have undertaken a comprehensive training and development programme.

“Staff also worked at our other young people’s wards at the Trust, worked directly alongside our colleagues who provide community eating disorder services, and continued to support our local hospitals with eating disorder-related admissions.”

The Phoenix Centre, which also provides day-patient specialist treatment for young people with complex eating disorders, re-opened to referrals from across the East of England and in some cases the rest of the country, earlier this month.

Ward manager Simon Paveling, who joined from CPFT’s ground-breaking Springbank Ward which cares for woman with borderline personality disorder, said: “I am delighted have joined the Phoenix Centre. This is an incredible place which provides care to young people with eating disorders who are in the most severe need.

“Working in the treatment of eating disorders is hugely challenging and highly complex. But we have staff who are committed to doing the very best they can for every young person they see. We look forward to welcoming them to the ward.”

CPFT provides community care services for older people and those with long-term conditions and mental health services across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. It also provides children’s community health services in Peterborough.