"My daughter's lifeline at Denbridge House"

About: South London And Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust / Eating disorders

(as a relative),

I totally agree with the previous person's argument, and also the letters being shown in the Daily Mail.

My daughter attended Denbridge House for two years after spending 6 months in the Bethlem Eating Disorder Unit. It was a life saver for her and I know she'll agree with me, that without it she would not be living the life she is now.

She came out of university in her 2nd year to go into the Bethlem, returned to university 4 years later and finished with a 1st degree in Mathematics, and took a PGCE teaching certificate. She is now a fully qualified Maths teacher at a private college. She got married last year and is now expecting a baby in July.

Without her journey through Denbridge and without the 24/7 support she received she would not be where she is today.

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Response from Steve Davidson, Service Director, Mood, Anxiety and Personality Clinical Academic Group and Psychological Medicine Clinical Academic Group, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Linda6,

Thank you for sharing your daughter's story with us. I'm very pleased to hear that she is doing so well, and hope you will pass on my congratulations to her. It's a real compliment to our staff to hear that you feel your daughter would not be living the life she is today without having spent the time she did at Denridge House. I would also add that her success is very much due to her determination and your support.

I understand your concerns and the concerns your daughter may have and thought an explanation of our reasons for closing Denbridge House might help to reassure you that we have come to this decision for the best of reasons. I also think it is important that you and your daughter know about our plans to replace the service with a new rehabilitation treatment service in Beckenham.

As I am sure you know, without effective early treatment for anorexia nervosa, such as the work with families developed at the Maudsley Hospital, a proportion of people go on to develop a severe and enduring illness. This group of people and their families can become isolated and excluded from a productive role in society with a high level of medical disability and use of services.

For this reason we are opening a new service that will see patients and families requiring rehabilitation ‘stepped down’ gradually so they spend fewer days in care and are better able to live independently, build strong relationships and play an active role in society. This approach to the treatment of anorexia nervosa has been shown to be very effective and has been developed using the best available evidence. The service has also been developed by working closely with patients and families with experience of anorexia nervosa and with the charity BEAT.

To fund the new service we have taken the difficult decision to close Denbridge House. Robust alternative arrangements will be in place before the few remaining patients leave Denbridge House and the expertise of the current staff team will be transferred to the new service.

Now more than ever, we have to make the best use of the resources available to us. However, we remain committed to providing treatments that evidence shows work best for our patients.

If you or your daughter would like to learn more about the treatment model to be used in the new rehabilitation treatment service please contact Jane Hannon at (jane.hannon@slam.nhs.uk) and Jane will send you more information and you can have further discussion with her if necessary.

Best Wishes to you both

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