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GPs are failing patients with anorexia and bulimia, claims charity

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A charity report has warned that the majority of people with an eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia, feel let down by their GPs.

Beat, a UK charity for people with eating disorders and their families, surveyed 1,500 people with an eating disorder.

It found that 59% of respondents had visited their GP about an eating disorder. But only 15% of respondents felt their GP understood eating disorders and knew how to help.

One patient said: ‘When I first went to see my GP they didn’t listen at all. They just told me it was a phase I was going through.’

Beat described the results as ‘a shocking indictment of just how much needs to be done’ and warns that the failure to improve standards may prove fatal for patients.

NICE guidelines on eating disorders state that part of the key to successful recovery from such disorders is that GP’s listen, act quickly and in the case of young people, involve families.

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