Posted on: Nov 21, 2017


New clinical network established to improve eating disorders services in the East of England  

Friday 6 October 2017 marked an important step forward in improving the support available to those struggling with eating problems in the East of England region. Having been in development over the last few months, a new quality network for eating disorders came together to meet for the first time in Cambridgeshire, hosted by the East of England Mental Health Clinical Network.  

As well as bringing together health professionals and voluntary services from across the region, the network also gives a voice to service users and their carers’. Of the many applications made to chair this new group, Keith Grimwade (a carer for a family member with an eating disorder), and James Downs (a campaigner who has lived-experience of anorexia and bulimia) were appointed as co-chairs of the network.  

Reflecting on the first meeting, James Downs (29) said “I am thrilled to be a part of leading this new clinical network for eating disorders in the region. Our first meeting has filled me with hope that we can drive forward improvements to the access and quality of support for eating disorders across the East of England. We have already identified some key areas for improvement to work on; from early intervention and the understanding of eating problems in primary care, to the support we offer to service users and carers in the depths of illness.  

There is so much good work going on in our area and I am sure that having a forum to share expertise and plan specific projects will make a huge difference”.  

The main functions of the newly formed network are:

  • To provide a forum where clinical opinion on issues relating to children, young people and adult eating disorders services can be sought and collected;
  • To act as a consultancy and advisory group for policy, practice guidelines, audit, research and service improvement
  • To share best practice, acting as a network across the region. 

Specific projects to be taken forward from the first meeting include; looking at how the group can better use data to see what works when treating eating disorders, and development more accessible and informative training programmes to share best practice.  

The quality network will meet quarterly and welcome participation from all involved in the care of those with eating disorders, as well as people interested in promoting awareness within their professional fields.  

  • NHS England is the body which leads the NHS in England. Its main aim is to improve the health outcomes for people in England, and it set the overall direction and priorities for the NHS as a whole.
  • For further information or interview opportunities, please email or call 0113 825 3437.
  • Clinical networks are hosted by NHS England and are non-statutory bodies. They adopt a ‘whole system’ approach to healthcare design, working with commissioners and providers of healthcare aiming to reduce variations and improve quality of care.
  • For more information about the East of England Clinical Networks, visit:
  • For more information about the new quality network for eating disorders services, please contact