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Eating disorders

Outpatient services for adults

Services delivered by a hospital to an adult who is not admitted to the hospital as an inpatient

What is it?

Outpatient services involve care provided within a hospital or medical clinic setting that doesn’t require a hospital admission. They often involve attending scheduled appointments, group activities and/or ‘day programs’.

Outpatient services are generally delivered by specialist doctors, nurses and/or allied health professionals and can support you with:

  • assessment and diagnosis of an eating disorder
  • therapeutic interventions
  • information and education.

What can someone expect?

Specialist eating disorder outpatient services and programs for adults are delivered by the statewide Queensland Eating Disorder Service (QuEDS) based in Brisbane North. QuEDS provides assessment, treatment, advice and education services for adults affected by eating disorders, their loved ones and their treating team.

Outpatient services and programs provided by QuEDS include:

  • the specialist consultation clinic—involves specialist assessment, diagnostic clarification and treatment recommendations tailored for the needs of someone with a developing or diagnosed eating disorder
  • individual outpatient treatment (for 18 years and older)—involves time-limited therapeutic interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy enhanced (CBT-E) and specialist supportive clinical management (SSCM)
  • day program (for 16 years and older)—involves support provided two days per week over an 8-week period, and includes therapeutic groups and supported meals facilitated by a specialised multidisciplinary team.

Additional outpatient services such as allied health may also be available through other public hospital services.

If you are referred to QuEDS, you will be contacted to discuss medical monitoring recommendations and arrange an appointment at the specialist consultation clinic, held at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. This is a once-off, one-to-two-hour appointment. During this appointment, the doctor will speak with you about eligibility criteria for accessing QuEDS services and help you decide what you want and need.

QuEDS services are time limited. Programs are sometimes full so you may have to wait for a place in the program. It’s essential you continue to see your GP regularly while waiting to access QuEDS services. You’ll be given information about what to do during the waiting time, as well as expected start dates.

While accessing QuEDS services, you must continue to see your GP regularly for medical monitoring. Ongoing medical monitoring should be attended regularly and as clinically indicated, preferably with the same clinician each visit for consistency.

While QuEDS services are publicly funded, there may be minimal out-of-pocket expenses. For example: to participate in social activities within the day program, for some meals and for companion therapy books.

Who is this for?

Outpatient services may be suitable for you if you’re 18 years or older, diagnosed with an eating disorder and working toward your recovery goals.

There are often eligibility criteria for accessing outpatient services. For example, treatment services delivered by QUEDs require participants to have a BMI of 16 or greater.

Outpatient services do not provide primary healthcare, case management or crisis care, however they can support you to link with these other services and supports if you need.

How can someone access it?

QuEDS outpatient services require a GP referral with up-to-date health information.

You can talk to your usual GP regarding a referral to QuEDS or contact QuEDS directly on 07 3114 0809 for more information.

Once a referral has been accepted by QuEDS, the first step in accessing support will be to attend an appointment at the specialist consultation clinic located at the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital (Herston).

Local Specialist Eating Disorder Services have also been established within other regions of Queensland including:

  • Metro South
  • Darling Downs / West Moreton
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Gold Coast
  • North Queensland (Cairns and Townsville)
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