the campaign


  1. Thousands of people with Eating Disorders are being turned away from treatment and support every day.
  2. The NICE Guidelines for access to treatment are correct but they are not being implemented in the right way.
  3. This is costing lives, heartbreak, anguish for people with eating disorders


We are asking the government to commit to three things:

  1. TA recommitment to the enforcement of NICE Guidelines 1.2.8 which states "Do not use single measures such as BMI or duration of illness to determine whether to offer treatment for an Eating Disorder". This will be rolled out through internal communications, blogs, webinars, press awareness and videos;
  2. Training for GPs on Eating Disorders; and
  3. To develop a meaningful way to measure/monitor implementation of the guidelines and an annual review of implementation.

We believe that there can no longer be any delay in diagnosing mental illness, given the lives that can be

open letter

The Letter

Dear Rt Hon Boris Johnson and Rt Hon Matt Hancock

We are writing to you following the conclusion of the inquest around the deaths of; Averil Hart, Amanda Bowles, Maria Jakes, Emma Brown and Madeline Wallance on Friday 6 November and following the recent communications with Hope Virgo regarding her petition to #DumpTheScales.

Whilst we are grateful for the funding that you have put aside for eating disorder treatment, we wanted to express our disappointment that you have not yet found time to meet with Hope Virgo, other industry experts, and that there has been no timeline put in place to support not just the #DumpTheScales campaign but also the wider work being done to tackle eating disorders across our country. As you are aware eating disorders affect over 1.6 million people and hold the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.

This campaign is asking to make access to treatment for eating disorders not about the weight or the BMI of the person, but their individual needs. We understand the significant pressures on Government and NHS resources at this difficult time, and so are not requesting more funding at present rather looking at the wider education of the NHS, of medical students, and to bring an end to the postcode lottery for support. The Coroner's verdict for the deaths of the five women from their eating disorders highlighted the real inadequacy of care and treatment. This is not just something that happened to these 5 young women but is something that happens across the country every day.

We want to see better communications, improved training, effective leadership and a timeline for implementation.

We believe this Government has the ability to change so many lives for the better through this course of action, and through taking clear leadership. This is about creating a system that is accessible for everyone with an eating disorder, rather than those who are suffering forced into a crisis point before they get the help they deserve. In 2020, no one should be dying from an eating disorder in the UK, but the reality is, this is still happening each day.

We are urging you to revisit this issue, and we are requesting you to:

  • Convene a roundtable with parliamentarians, service users and industry experts who support the aims of #DumpTheScales to hear evidence of eating disorder treatment
  • Give Hope Virgo a space to present the campaign and wider issues around eating disorder treatment to the Health Select Committee
  • Work with Parliamentarians and other experts to produce a timeframe in which these changes can be delivered
  • Work with Parliamentarians, the NHS and other experts to address the issues around communications and training for all frontline staff
  • The number of people struggling with an eating disorder is rising during the pandemic, and these numbers are very likely to be under reported. It is now more important than ever to tackle this deadly illness.
  • An issue as important as this needs timelines and strategies, and we are looking forward to working with you on them.

We look forward to hearing from you.

open letter

The Signatories

Hope Virgo, Founder of #DumpTheScales
Dr Agnes Ayton Consultant Psychiatrist, Chair of the Faculty of Eating Disorders, Royal College of Psychiatrists
Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool
Tracey Crouch MP
Wera Hobhouse MP
John Martin McDonnell MP
Apsana Begum MP
Chris Evans MP
Dr Lisa Cameron MP
Sir George Howarth MP
Olivia Blake MP
Julie Elliott MP
Colum Eastwood MP
Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM
Sean Fletcher, Broadcaster and Mental Health Campaigner
Jeff Stelling, Broadcaster
Jonny Benjamin MBE
Ben Bidwell, MindSet Coach
Isa Robinson, ANutr, Certified Intuitive Counsellor, Founder of Isa Robinson Nutrition
Adam Fare - Data Analyst and Wellbeing Lead, lived experience
Jodie Duffy - University Student/Bank Support Worker with lived experience.
Cara Lisette, Senior Nurse Practitioner, Lived Experience
Mrs Pippa Ockenden, Business Administrator, Lived experience
Kathy Walton. Patient Forum Representative, Member of South London Partnership Eating Disorders Service Users and Carers Group. Lived Experience
Daisy-Mae Morrison, Health Care Assistant
Hannah Steiner, Senior Consultant - Local Government, Lived Experience
Natalie Timotheou - Teacher, Head of Year, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, Mental Health Lead
Tamsin Speight Specialist Eating Disorder Practitioner
Emma Evans, Clinical Psychologist, Eating Disorders, North Wales
Samantha Sharpe, Head of Eating Disorders Service, North Wales
Thomas Farnell, SafeGuarding and Welfare Officer
Yolanda Snyman, Specialist Eating Disorder Dietitian
Helen Rose - Specialist Eating Disorders Practitioner North East Wales & North Powys
Lucy Brydon, FilmMaker and Fellow of Warwick University Writing Program
Isobel Donoghue Family Court Adviser
Joel Thornton Young Advisor at Sefton Council for Voluntary Services
Hannah Joels, Lived Experience
Naomi Wilcox, CRUK PhD Student, University of Cambridge, Lived experience
Louise Arnold, Lived Experience
Charlotte Marley, Lived Experience
Francesca Hall, Athlete and Mentor
Dr Madeleine Le Bourdon, Lecturer, Lived-experience
Helen Jackson, Mum of 12 year with Anorexia Nervosa, Ophthalmic Imager
Reuben Jolliffe, Chef
Paula jolliffe, Carer
Sarah Sparkes, Lunchtime Supervisor
Jess Bacon,
Catherine Risman, Psychotherapist and carer
Charlotte Twinley, Mental Health Advocate
Helen Missen, F.E.A.S.T
Bethany White, Lived Experience
Lorna Collins, Peer Support Worker, Patient Representative - Royal College of Psychiatrist, Lived Experience
Yasmin Braddell, Lived experience
George Mycock, Mental health consultant Lived experience
Dawn Owen, Assistant Psychologist, Eating Disorders, North Wales
Bernie Wright, BACP Accredited & UKCP Register Counsellor, Clinical Supervisor, Eating Disorder and Obesity Training Professional
Hayley Pearse MCIAT, Development Manager
Vanessa Heaps, Lived Experience - Carer
Victoria Butler, Firefighter, Lived Experience
Emmy Tumber, Mental Health Blogger, Lived Experience
Rev Peterson Feital, The CEO and Founder of The Haven + London Charity
Louisa Nicole Rose, Social Media Consultant, Mental Health Advocate
Lauren Barklie, Psychiatry Trainee, Lived Experience
Elise MacGregor, Lived Experience
Georgie Lazzari, Lived Experience and First Steps ED Bank Worker
Elise Pacquette, Lived Experience
Paula Talman, Director and Founder of iSpace Wellbeing
Simon Bandy, Director of Nutritional Supplements company
Lara Torok, Lived Experience
Zoe, Biochemist, Lived Experience
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