YOUNG people in Oxfordshire with urgent eating disorders are been left waiting months for treatment, it has been revealed.

NHS England last week released the latest statistics on the number of children and young people, up to the age of 19, with an eating disorder who are waiting for treatment.

The figures show nationally hundreds were still waiting for their treatment to start after 12 weeks, including at least 15 in Oxfordshire.

Dimitra Theofili, an eating disorder specialist based in the county, has said the 'appalling' figures show children are 'being let down' by the NHS.

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The data, which covers November, December and January, reveals of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group's 125 routine cases 13 were still waiting for treatment after more than three months.

This was replicated in the nine urgent cases, where two young people had been waiting more than 12 weeks for treatment.

Oxford Mail:

Dimitra Theofili

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health services in Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties, meanwhile, had three out of 45 urgent cases still waiting after 12 weeks and 15 out of 346 routine cases.

Dr Theofili, who works at private facility Banbury Lodge, said: "This is a progressive illness, meaning it gets worse with time.

"There’s a lot of work that still needs to be done to protect these incredibly vulnerable children who are struggling with a misunderstood yet extremely dangerous and time-sensitive condition."

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For children with routine eating disorder cases, the NHS target is that 95 per cent of patients should start treatment within four weeks of referral.

The figure currently stands at 86.9 per cent nationally and is far below even that for Oxfordshire CCG, which is dealing with only 67.2 per cent of cases within that time period.

Oxford Mail:

Dr Theofili said:“A child who asks for help for their eating disorder has taken the first and most important step in their road to recovery and for them to be ignored for months is just not good enough.

"Time is of the essence when it comes to treating eating disorders, especially in young people."

Nationally 532 routine cases were still waiting for treatment to start with a further 22 urgent cases still waiting.