The service is currently configured as two teams, each specialising in different types of presentation: the Feeding Disorders Team (FDT) and the Eating Disorders Team (EDT).
The Feeding Disorders Team specialises primarily in Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) and related presentations and the Eating Disorders Team specialises primarily in Anorexia Nervosa and related presentations (see further details on each team below).
Some children and young people may be seen by either team and a decision will be made at our joint referrals meeting regarding the most appropriate. Together these teams provide a comprehensive Feeding and Eating Disorders Service (FEDS).
The team works to help children, young people and their families to overcome or manage complex feeding or eating difficulties.
The team is led by Dr Rachel Bryant-Waugh, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Joint Head of FEDS, with the following disciplines represented: psychology, nursing, dietetics, family therapy, play specialism, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and psychiatry (see Meet the Team). We also have access to one of the Trust’s consultant general paediatricians, who provide advice and might see individual patients for assessment and an opinion as needed.
We mostly see children and young people who are refusing or avoiding food for a variety of reasons. These include:
- feeding/eating aversions or phobias
- extreme selectivity
- tube feed or nutritional supplement dependency
- lack of interest in food and/or eating
- halted feeding development (eg remaining on foods/textures no longer developmentally appropriate)
We also see children and young people who:
- regularly or habitually bring food back up into their mouth in the absence of any current gastrointestinal disorder other medical condition to account for this
- regularly or habitually ingest non-food substances.
There may be concern about one or more of the following:
- Weight and/or physical growth and development
- The age appropriateness and/or nutritional adequacy of the individual’s intake
- Health implications related to poor intake
- Impact on social and emotional development
- Impact on family functioning
In children and young people with complex medical histories or current medical conditions, the feeding/eating difficulty is over and above that normally expected and any on-going symptoms, such as vomiting or constipation, should be managed and settled.
We see children and young people across the full spectrum of cognitive abilities, to include those with learning disability, pervasive developmental disorders, and autism spectrum disorder.
We can occasionally accept referrals of young people aged 17 (please contact the Team Administrator if you are considering making such a referral).
We are unable to accept referrals of:
- Infants with faltering growth requiring medical management
- Children and young people with a current medical condition (to include oral motor functioning) that directly accounts for their feeding or eating difficulties
- Children and young people with unmanaged oro-pharyngeal dysphagia (swallowing difficulties). If you wish to consider referring a child with known managed dysphagia please contact the Team Administrator
- Children and young people with anorexia nervosa and related presentations are seen by the Eating Disorders Team as part of our Feeding and Eating Disorders Service.
If you would like to discuss a referral or receive a copy of our referral criteria please contact our Team Administrator.