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Trust launches new early intervention eating disorders service in Nottinghamshire

Young adults aged 18-25 years-old with a first onset of an eating disorder can now receive support from a new early intervention service, launched in Nottinghamshire today.

First Episode Rapid Early Intervention for Eating Disorders (known as FREED) will be delivered through the Adult Nottinghamshire Eating Disorder Service, provided by Nottinghamshire Healthcare. In November 2020 the Trust was named as one of 18 sites across England to receive £35,000 each to deliver FREED, with support from the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network.

FREED is an evidence-based early intervention model for eating disorders, tailored to young people’s needs. Developed six years ago by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London, it provides rapid access high-quality care for people in the early stages of illness when treatment is most likely to be effective. Patients referred to FREED will receive a telephone call from a dedicated FREED mental health nurse within 48 hours and will be offered an assessment within two weeks. If suitable, treatment will begin within four weeks from referral.

The model is designed to meet the needs of young adults, considering aspects such as social media, the transition to university and emerging adulthood. The aim is to reduce the duration of untreated eating disorders and intervene before the behaviours become embedded and more difficult to address, which can have a significant impact on the patient and their health.

Research indicates that if someone received treatment within the first three years of illness onset, it is more likely that the individual can work to reverse the changes the eating disorder has on the brain and body.

Referrals to FREED can be made by GP or healthcare professional via the Adult Nottinghamshire Eating Disorders Service.

The Trust is delivering FREED with support from the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network  (EMAHSN). There are 15 AHSNs that form a national network with full coverage of England. Early Intervention in Eating Disorders is a national AHSN priority programme, with the AHSNs supporting spread, adoption and sustainability of the model across the country. For more information visit

For more information about FREED visit



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