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Health Board to take over Eating Disorder Service

Hutt Valley District Health Board (DHB) is likely to take over Johnsonville's Eating Disorder Service (EDS) which due to close by this year-end. There are only 2 specialist// inpatient units in New Zealand, one is this and the other is in Christchurch.

Insufficient financial support by the DHB was the reason given by EDS managers to the patients and staff for the termination of services by December 31.

Around $1 million is received annually by this non-profit community service to run its seven-bed specialist treatment facility. It had been working at loss for sometime. There are 400 patients on its record.

The state of affairs was discussed at the centre’s annual meeting by the EDS board and management on 10th. The DHB is likely to make an announcement later. The DHB is likely to take over the existing Johnsonville center and propose new contracts to the EDS’ specialist staff.

Hutt Valley DHB spokesman David Graham would not confirm the details of the proposal. "Hopefully by the end of the week we will have agreed on an arrangement for after December 31," he said.

EDS operations manager Lysette Riley said, "Any announcement is up to the health board. We have withdrawn our services and that's final. We've been talking with the DHB about how to provide on-going services for our clients."

Families Commission chief commissioner Rajen Prasad yesterday said, "Many families have raised concerns about the limited support, information and assistance given to families by mental health services. "

The Health Ministry has already confessed that eating disorder treatment services, which individual DHBs fund, are insufficient.
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