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First eating disorder centre here inundated

IRELAND'S first dedicated residential treatment centre for eating disorders has been inundated with calls from people seeking to sign up for its services.

Lois Bridges, the newly opened clinic in Dublin, has had more than 180 enquiries about places on its six-bed programme.

At €4,500 per week, treatment does not come cheap, but the centre is in talks with health insurers to include it in coverage and is hopeful of success.

The renovated Georgian house in Sutton provides an alternative to existing care for illnesses such as bulimia, anorexia and binge-eating, which is based in hospital psychiatric units.

The team of practitioners behind the centre say there is a huge shortage of beds in Ireland for what is a rapidly growing problem.

"We have had a huge amount of enquiries -- about 150 as we geared up to opening, and then on our first day there were another 30 messages from clients alone," said Teresa Moorhead, director of Clinical Services.

"We expect the number of enquiries we have had to date to probably triple."

Those seeking treatment will be assessed before being placed on the course.

The opening of Lois Bridges is timely -- this is Eating Disorders Awareness week.