Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust opens specialist centre for young people with eating disorders

The Lighthouse Centre, located at Helledson Hospital in Norwich, is set to provide physical and psychological treatment for young people aged 11 to 18 with an eating disorder. The centre aims to help young people manage and improve their condition at home, reducing the need for them to be admitted as an inpatient.

Staff will work with young people and their families to provide therapeutic family, individual and group work, education and practical support. One-to-one nursing and psychological interventions will be available.

Group sessions will be held to support patients in working through common issues such as perfectionism, anxiety, difficulties managing change, rigid thinking patterns and emotional over-regulation.

The centre has space to care for up to ten people at a time and takes referrals from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s eating disorder teams.

Tania Pombeiro, Family Psychotherapist and Clinical Lead for the service, said: “Our aim is not for young people to achieve full recovery in the weeks they are with us, but to help them overcome some of the obstacles they may be facing so that they can continue their treatment in the community.

“Young people will come to the unit for between four and 12 weeks, depending on their individual needs and treatment goals… We want to make sure the centre fully meets the needs of our young people, so made sure that service users and their families were fully involved as we planned and designed the building, as well as in shaping the services which we provide.”