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News & Research 


Here we’ll keep you up to date with news from AEDRA and new support options and developments, research and findings in the field of Eating Disorders.

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FREED (the First Episode and Rapid Early Intervention for Eating Disorders)


The First Episode and Rapid Early Intervention for Eating Disorders (FREED) project is an innovative early intervention service for young people who have developed an eating disorder within the last three years. The service, which is embedded in larger NHS specialist eating disorder services, involves a rapid screening and assessment protocol, evidence-based interventions for patients and carers, and an implementation toolkit for staff. The intervention aims to reduce the duration of untreated eating disorder and improve outcomes for patients and carers.

In 2014/15 the Section for Eating Disorders at King’s College London (KCL) and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) received funding from the Health Foundation to pilot the FREED service model, and the results were promising. FREED patients waited almost 40% less time for assessment and treatment, and overall clinical improvement was rapid and sustained.

Since this pilot study Professor Schmidt and her team have re-engaged the support of the Health Foundation to upscale the FREED initiative. FREED-Upscaled (FREED-up) aims to demonstrate the scalability of the FREED approach by implementing it across four specialist eating disorder services in Greater London and Yorkshire. The main objectives are to reduce waiting times for treatment and the duration of untreated eating disorders, improve treatment engagement and clinical outcomes, and demonstrate and cost effectiveness.

The FREED project has been presented at a number of conferences nationally and internationally, and had significant impact. Notably, the FREED team were honoured to receive the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Award for Mental Health Team of the Year 2017.

You can learn more about the FREED project by visiting their website,, and by following them on Twitter, @FREEDfromED.

FREED is committed to upholding the new GDPR guidelines. If you were part of the FREED-UP study there is now a new supplementary information sheet on data use available to you.


Brown, A. L., McClelland, J. K., Boysen, E., Mountford, V. A., Glennon, D., & Schmidt, U. H. (2016). The FREED Project (First episode and Rapid Early intervention in Eating Disorders): Service model, feasibility and acceptability. Early Intervention in Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1111/eip.12382

McClelland, J. K., Hodsoll, J., Brown, A. L., Lang, K., Boysen, E., Flynn, M., Mountford, V. A., Glennon, D., & Schmidt, U. H. A pilot evaluation of a novel First Episode and Rapid Early Intervention Service for Eating Disorders (FREED). Manuscript submitted for publication. 

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