Pioneering Eating Disorder Service achieves National Recognition

Posted on 16th April, 2012

Devon Partnership NHS Trust’s Haldon Eating Disorder Service has been awarded the Beat Assured Quality Mark, having met standards set by the leading eating disorders charity Beat. The Haldon Service, based in Exeter, provides an intensive treatment programme to men and women, aged 16 and over. Referrals are accepted from across the South West and the rest of the UK. Its innovative service is the first in the UK to offer a specially adapted treatment for anorexia nervosa – and so far the results are really promising.  Applying a new adaptation of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), developed by Professor Thomas R Lynch, this treatment aims to target over-controlled behaviour by engaging people more fully in novel and playful ways of responding, by learning how to be open to critical feedback, by letting go of ineffective envy and bitterness, by becoming more compassionate and improving close relationships with others. The award of the Beat Assured Quality Mark follows a rigorous assessment of the service by Beat staff and volunteers, who visited the service to speak with current users of the service, their family members and the Haldon team. The Beat report highlighted how the support offered by the Haldon team to parents and family members was a key part of the high standard of care overall. The staff team were praised for creating a trusting, supportive environment; several times the assessors heard the term “flattened hierarchy”, describing the noticeable sense of equality between staff and the people using the service. Sarah Burford, Ward Manager comments: “Since opening five years ago we have worked in close partnership with everyone who uses our service and include family members as fully as possible, so that they can have the best chance to support recovery in the months and years ahead. We recognise that we only see people for a relatively short part of their recover journey, but believe that the personalised interventions and DBT skills learnt equip individuals to continue their recovery in the community. “I am delighted and enormously proud of the team in achieving the BEAT accreditation. The process was very robust and as a team we had to look at all areas of our practice. This process has been enormously beneficial in helping the team to understand both areas of good practice and those where we could improve. The feedback provided by the panel will help to us enhance our service over the coming years.” The Haldon team is also becoming involved in new international research, aiming to establish an evidence base for this potentially groundbreaking treatment model for the treatment of anorexia. Currently in its 23rd year, Beat is the UK’s largest charity for people affected by eating disorders, providing helplines, a UK-wide network of support groups, and an extensive range of projects. The full report on the Haldon Service can be found on Beat’s website: For help and support around eating disorders visit Beat website,, contact the helpline, 0845 634 1414 or e-mail: For information about The Haldon service visit