The MARSIPAN group came together after clinical experience indicated that patients with severe anorexia nervosa, often young, had been admitted to medical facilities in a seriously ill state and had subsequently deteriorated and died, at times from identifiable causes such as pneumonia and at others from the effects of starvation or the re-feeding syndrome.
Some of the cases led to widespread coverage in the media (BBC News, 2008; Daily Telegraph, 2008), others to serious and untoward incident inquiries. One such inquiry (Scottish Parliament, 2004) concluded that liaison between medical and psychiatric or eating disorders services could be improved. However, messages from individual clinicians suggested that other issues were also important.
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