‘Alarming’: GPs failing to diagnose eating disorders

21 Apr, 2021

InsideOut Director Dr Sarah Maguire is reported in the Daily Telegraph discussing how General Practitioners are not supported or trained adequately to detect eating disorders.

Figures from the first national study into GP management of eating disorders found that less than 1 per cent of more than 1.5 million GP encounters between 2001 and 2016 led to diagnosis or treatment for an eating disorder.

Dr Maguire says “Our GPs are trying to do everything and they can’t be experts on everything. (The figures) are critically low."

“We cannot have them (GPs) as those gatekeepers unsupported and untrained. We need immediate investment in training and clinical support, so tools and platforms that work within the existing structures, so that the screening and assessment instruments are available to them.”

Dr Maguire expects the figures to improve slightly in the time since the reporting period, due to the introduction of eating disorder specific mental health plans in 2019.

But said the rise would not be a significant one.

“We need to make it much easier for GPs to do this in their 15-minute blocks and we need to train them,” she added.