The figures for referrals to adult eating disorder services and to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) were released in response to Assembly Questions tabled by SDLP MLA Mark H. Durkan and Independent MLA Claire Sugden.
The number of referrals in the Western Trust remained relatively constant over the five years: 188 in 2018; 169 in 2019; 171 in 2020; 170 in 2021; 183 in 2022 - 881 in total over the five year period.
Mr. Swann indicated that the figures provided were in relation to referrals, not ‘people’.
“It is possible one individual was referred multiple times,” he said.
Equally the minister said it was not ‘possible to disaggregate referrals received for eating disorder services in children as this is through a single point of entry for all CAMHS Services’.
The eating disorder service in the Western Trust is ‘a specialist service which offers assessment and treatment to people with Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Atypical Anorexia Nervosa/ Bulimia Nervosa’.
The service is available across the Western Trust geography in Derry, Strabane, Limavady, Omagh and Enniskillen with outreach clinics also available in all areas if patients are unable to travel to these centres.
Those under the age of 18 years can seek referral to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).