"SEDS offer absolutely outstanding care"

About: Specialist services / Eating disorder service

(as a service user),

I have used SEDS many times over the years (including outpatient, therapy and day service) but this is about my involvement with them last year.

Getting referred and getting into SEDS is very difficult - that's my only issue with trying to get help last year - it took 3 referrals and a number of months to get an assessment. This was partially due to my other mental health problems which I feel is a barrier for a lot of people as the general mental health services don't really deal with eating disorders and SEDS can be anxious about other significant mental health problems - particularly where risk is involved - such as in my case. I feel this is an area of liaison in the services that could be improved.

However, when I was assessed to my great surprise I was immediately accepted for CBT therapy. Once you are in the service, SEDS offer absolutely outstanding care. The boundaries were very clear and the therapist firm but compassionate and took into account my other mental health constraints and life issues that affected how I could engage with eating disorder recovery. However she also took into account things that would help me such as clear, structure, transparency and boundaries. She wasn't afraid to challenge me on the difficult stuff and although it made me squirm at the time it was necessary. For the first time I was able to make steps forward in my eating disorder recovery under my own steam without having to use day service or admission to make progress which is huge and also gave me a lot more confidence that in the future even if I relapse, I have a lot more tools I can draw on with a little guidance. I found the structure of CBT very helpful for this aspect of my mental health. I was pushed just the right amount but when things were too chaotic in the rest of my life it was pulled back a little.

I also appreciated my involvement with the OT at SEDS helping me to start progress in challenging my fears of using cooking devices - although we did not complete this piece of work for other reasons, it gave me a really good head start to continue.

SEDS are easy to get hold of and always return calls, the service is personable and very person-centred. The team are very good and very experienced at what they do and although its a hard service to get into, once you are in they are fantastic. Thank you for all your help over the years.

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Response from Amy Wicksteed, Lead Clinical Psychologist, Sheffield Eating Disorders Service, Sheffield Health and Social Care 5 months ago
We are preparing to make a change
Amy Wicksteed
Lead Clinical Psychologist, Sheffield Eating Disorders Service,
Sheffield Health and Social Care
Submitted on 02/01/2020 at 15:14
Published on Care Opinion on 06/01/2020 at 12:26

Many Thanks for sharing your experience of using Sheffield Eating Disorders Service (SEDS) & the positive brave steps forward that you have taken in your recovery.

Thank you for your feedback regarding accessing services; it is a concern that we also share. Moving forward we will be working in partnership with other organisations to develop a through age service which will have broader referral thresholds; it is our hope that this improves access to services in the future.

Best wishes from all at SEDS.


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Response from Maggie Young, Head of Eating Disorders, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust 4 months ago
We are preparing to make a change
Maggie Young
Head of Eating Disorders,
Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust
Submitted on 06/01/2020 at 13:42
Published on Care Opinion at 14:08

Dear Guiding Star

Thank you for your positive feedback which has been passed on to the staff concerned. You make some very useful points that the Eating Disorders Service is difficult to get into particularly for those with additional mental health problems. We will endeavour to work more closely with adult mental health services to ensure that services work more closely together to support people rather than try to avoid providing joined up support and help.

You also mention waiting times which is particularly relevant given recent information in the national media about lengthy delays to access treatment resulting in an increase in specialist inpatient admissions. This Service is moving towards an early intervention model and we hope to work to keep waiting times down through working more closely with partners in the Voluntary Sector( Syeda) and in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

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