Melbourne is lucky to be hosting the National Eating Disorders Collaboration Members Meeting on Feb 27/28 and it is free to attend if you are an NEDC member (and membership is free). I am hoping to see as many of the affected Victorian community there as possible. The theme is “Building a System of Care” and as we all know the current system of care is not a ‘system’!
I have often been asked as a carer what stepped care or a system of care means to me. To me a coherent, navigable system has to be easily understood by the end users, has to move people seamlessly between services and providers and has to support a multidisciplinary approach. It cannot rely on the affected individual to self-navigate themselves through the system (in the same way we may expect someone with other physical illnesses to do) because a/ the system is complex and unclear and b/ someone malnourished with an eating disorder can struggle making decisions to see a clinician, make appointments, coordinate communication between all their clinical team. Often the latter will become the responsibility of family members or supports.
I would like to see (and we are advocating for) a system where like a relay baton (Thank you EDFA for the larger Pass The Baton concept). The clinician/service providers hand the baton onto the next clinician/service provider and for a period of time both are holding the baton. Currently it often feels like at the end of your time with a service or clinician, the baton gets tossed in the air and it can be pot luck where it lands – I have this mental image of the person with the eating disorder or their families/supports dashing around picking up batons and madly trying to pass them onto to someone else.
If you do attend the NEDC Member Meeting, please make sure to seek me out and say hi! A number of the EDV team will also be there.
Belinda Caldwell, EDV CEO