Eating Disorders Service (Adult)

Our team welcomes enquiries from service users and family and carers about self-referrals, but referrals can only be made by an appropriate healthcare professional.

Referral form update

The CONNECT service have taken action to make changes to their referral form. This was in response to feedback about it previously being lengthy to complete and to help reduce the number of incomplete referrals being received.

The form has been condensed down from 14 pages to just 3 pages. This means the guidelines for referrers now needs to be accessed separately and is no longer part of the form (a hyperlink to this has been added to the start of the form to account for this).

Text boxes can be made larger to allow for the desired amount of information to be written by the referrer.

Please be aware that Connect need to be in receipt of bloods and ECG from the past 4 weeks. Referrals will not be processed without these up-to-date investigations attached and will be returned to referrer.

It is also important to note that in the clinical information section, where the form asks for information on bingeing, purging, laxative misuse and overexercising, the frequency of these behaviours MUST be complete, or the referral will not be accepted.

Connect are hopeful that the condensed referral form will save time and effort for referrers.

PLEASE NOTE: We will accept referrals using the old form until 31st July 2023 to ensure a smooth transition over to the new form. Thereafter, referrals will NEED to be submitted using this new form, else they will be returned.

Thank you.

To make a referral:

  1. Referral form 2023
  2. Referral form changes – cover note
  3. Send completed copies by email to: connectreferrals.lypft@nhs.net

At present, the CONNECT service has temporarily suspended accepting all requests for second opinion assessments due to the current clinical demands arising within the service. It is regretful that we are not able to undertake such clinical work at this time. We will endeavour to resume such activity as soon as possible.

Referral Criteria

CONNECT accepts referrals for individuals who:

  • Are 18 years of age or above. The service will consider referrals for individuals who are 17 years of age but only in exceptional circumstances or if they meet CAMHS transition criteria.
  • Have a suspected diagnosis of moderate/severe Anorexia Nervosa, i.e. core psychopathology and BMI<17kg/m². The service also accepts referrals for adults with mild Anorexia Nervosa (core psychopathology and BMI 17-18.5 kg/m²) if they meet FREED (First episode and rapid early intervention for eating disorders)  criteria, i.e. less than 3 years duration of illness, age 18-25.
  • Have a suspected diagnosis of severe Bulimia Nervosa, i.e. core psychopathology with bingeing AND DAILY purging/compensatory behaviours (e.g. self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives/diuretics/insulin or other medication, excessive exercise) occurring at least 7 x per week, i.e. on a DAILY basis.
  • The service also accepts referrals for adults with mild/moderate Bulimia Nervosa (core psychopathology and weekly bingeing AND purging) if they meet FREED (First episode and rapid early intervention for eating disorders) criteria, i.e. less than 3 years duration of illness, age 18-25.
  • Have a suspected atypical eating disorder and they are pregnant, have type 1 Diabetes Mellitus or Hyperthyroidism.
FREED

The CONNECT community teams provide a FREED (first episode and rapid early intervention for eating disorders) service for individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • suspected diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa (core psychopathology and BMI<18.5 kg/m²) or Bulimia Nervosa (core psychopathology and weekly bingeing AND purging)
  • less than 3 years duration of illness
  • age 18-25

Outpatient treatment for service users accessing the FREED service is the same as for those accessing the standard outpatient treatment pathway however, assessment and treatment is streamlined as follows:

  • the service makes initial contact with the service user by phone or email within 48 hours of receiving the completed referral form to explore the person’s views on treatment and to  arrange an initial assessment
  • the offer of an initial assessment within 2-4 weeks if FREED criteria are felt to be met following the initial contact
  • commencement of evidence-based treatment within 2-4 weeks following assessment
  • separate FREED therapy groups (MANTRA and CBT-ED)
CAMHS transitions

CONNECT provides a CAMHS transition service for individuals less than 18 years of age who are accessing CAMHS services. Referral criteria for CAMHS transition service users are the same for non-transition service users; however, CONNECT is able to offer an initial assessment 6 months prior to the individual’s 18th birthday with a 6-month transition support period to facilitate safe and effective transition between services. Referrals for CAMHS transition service users should be made prior to the individual turning 17 ½ to ensure that an effective transition period is achieved. Referrals for individuals who are 17 ½ – 18 years of age will not be accepted and provided with transition support.

Exclusion criteria

CONNECT does not accept referrals for individuals who have a current history of psychosis or any other psychiatric or physical health disorder which requires treatment before their eating disorder can be addressed. Connect requires a period of 3 months of abstinence following the misuse of/dependency on illicit substances and/or alcohol.

Screening

All individuals will require a screening assessment of physical risk before their referral can be considered. This screening assessment should include a minimum of:

  • body mass index (BMI) (weight/height2)
  • blood investigations (full blood count, urea and electrolytes, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, glucose, creatine kinase, liver function tests)
  • examination of blood pressure (erect and supine), pulse and core temperature
  • an electrocardiogram (ECG)

If the referral is accepted, it will be passed onto the appropriate CONNECT referrals team for further discussion. Each team has a weekly referral meeting where referrals are discussed and allocated for assessment and treatment. The referrals teams aim to provide the referrer with a referral decision within 5 working days from receipt of the completed referral form.

Please note that whilst the CONNECT service prioritises referrals for individuals from the West Yorkshire and Harrogate region, it can also consider inpatient and second opinion referrals for individuals who are registered with a GP outside the West Yorkshire catchment area. In such cases, the individual will require a named care coordinator from adult mental health services, and the referral should be made via the NHS England Adult Eating Disorders Case Manager for Yorkshire and Humber in the first instance.

CONNECT accepts direct referrals from GPs and all other health professionals from the West Yorkshire region. Having an allocated care coordinator from secondary mental health services within West Yorkshire is not required to access the CONNECT service.

CAMHS transitions

CONNECT provides a CAMHS transition service for individuals less than 18 years of age who are accessing CAMHS services.

Referral criteria for CAMHS transition service users are in line with the standard CONNECT referral criteria; however, CONNECT is able to offer an initial assessment 6 months prior to the individual’s 18th birthday with a 6-month transition support service to facilitate safe and effective transition between services. Referrals for CAMHS transition service users should be made prior to the individual turning 17 ½ to ensure that an effective transition period is achieved. Referrals for individuals who are 17 ½ – 18 years of age will not be accepted.

Enquiries

All enquiries should be made by email to connectenquiries.lypft@nhs.net. The service aims to provide a response within 5 working days. If a more urgent response is required, then the enquirer will be advised to make a formal referral.

We are an accredited service

A logo providing accreditation from the Royal College of Psychiatrists on Quality Network for Eating Disorders until 25 July 2025.We are proud to be accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

  • We provide a safe environment for staff and patients,
  • Our staff demonstrate compassion, dignity and respect,
  • Patients are offered excellent quality treatment based on national best practice.

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