Staff in the Eating Disorders Service of Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (CWPT) have welcomed a “ground-breaking” investment in a trial service for people with both type 1 diabetes and disordered eating. The condition, often referred to as T1DE (pronounced ‘tide’) for short and sometimes also called diabulimia, can affect people with type 1 diabetes. T1DE patients usually restrict their use of insulin in order to lose weight, resulting in high blood sugar levels and, often, frequent admissions to hospital.
The new pilot service, which will be based as the Aspen Centre in Warwick, will support patients to normalise their eating and manage their diabetes in a consistent way. Given that mental health and body image issues are central to T1DE, the service will provide individual therapy, together with dietetic support and advice on diabetes management. The service will be provided by a multidisciplinary team of specialists in eating disorders and diabetes. It will be led by Dr Tony Winston and based in the Warwick Clinic for Eating Disorders and Diabetes.
Sharon Binyon, CWPT’s Medical Director, said:
“We are delighted to have been selected by NHS England as one of five sites which will join the national pilot of specific services for people with T1DE. Because T1DE is an uncommon condition, it can often be misunderstood and overlooked due to a lack of awareness, or patients’ needs not being treated holistically. Our new service will change that by offering support which recognises the complexity of T1DE and is tailored to the individual.”
The national T1DE pilot, overseen and funded by NHS England, covers every region of England and is already producing positive results for T1DE patients. The funding for CWPT’s pilot will run for two years with regular evaluation of the impact it is having.
Dr Tony Winston, Consultant in Eating Disorders and Medical Lead Psychiatrist for CWPT’s Eating Disorders Service, said:
“This pilot will be ground-breaking for our service and the people we support. As we kick off Eating Disorders Awareness Week, it is very exciting to be able to share the news of our successful bid. We hope that our pilot will be an opportunity to raise awareness of T1DE across the board: with our staff, the organisations we work with and the public in Coventry and Warwickshire. Work to develop the service, in partnership with people who have lived experience of T1DE, is already underway and we look forward to sharing more news in the coming months.”