After 15 years of caring for young people in general practice, and developing an interest in eating disorders, Dr Dominique Thompson noticed a gap in the peer support available for UK primary care professionals working in this complex and challenging field. The concept of a shared space for information sharing, discussion, development of service provision, and the pooling of educational resources, was welcomed enthusiastically by colleagues around the UK.
It has led to an exciting, collaborative approach with the UK national eating disorders organisation, Anorexia and Bulimia Care (ABC), based in Bristol. Responding to the needs of people affected by eating disorders and resourcing professionals in the field for over 26 years, ABC wrote the first online training course for the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). Published in February 2015 on the RCGP’s Online Learning Environment, this 30 minute course includes essential information on how to best support patients affected by eating disorders, offering credits for CPD and revalidation.
The partnership with Dr Thompson and ABC resulted in the creation of NetworkED, to benefit all those working in primary care across the UK, and their patients.
Dr. Thompson has been a GP for 15 years, and joined Bristol Students’ Health Service (SHS) in 2002, after working as a forensic medical officer, expedition doctor, and for BPAS. She was appointed Director in 2010, and has since led an innovative drive to develop new services, particularly to support mental health. The Bristol Uni First Step primary care Eating Disorders service was successful enough to be rolled out to the whole city. In 2013 SHS was nominated GP Practice of the Year and Innovators of the Year. In 2014 the practice topped the UK’s Sexual Health Services for 50 university practices surveyed. Our social media/blog received a special mention for their high quality. Dr Thompson is currently campaigning to reduce the risk of self harm by asking the BMA to lead a change in prescribing legislation, to allow instalment prescribing for antidepressants. She has recently been appointed to the new NICE Eating Disorders Guidelines Development Group. She was named as one of five GP heroes, in a national survey of GPs, by Pulse magazine, in September 2014.
A former head teacher, Jane has offered talks and training to teachers and students in schools and universities across the UK through her work with Anorexia and Bulimia Care. She joined ABC in 2004 to develop the parent and carer services having helped her own daughters through eating disorders and self-harm to recovery. She is the author of ‘The Parent’s Guide to Eating Disorders’ (2011, Lion Hudson), ‘The Parent’s Guide to Self-harm’ (2012, Lion Hudson), co-author with Dr Kate Middleton of ‘First Steps out of Eating Disorders’ (2010, Lion Hudson) and co-author with Dr Rebecca Steed of the Eating Disorders course for the RCGP.