Parliamentary Award for Eating Disorders Lead Sam

June 13, 2022

A clinician from Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust has won The Lifetime Achievement Award for the South West, in the 2022 NHS Parliamentary Awards.

Sam Clark-Stone, Clinical Lead, for our Eating Disorders Service, was nominated by Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk. He will now go forward to the national awards, with the ceremony taking place in London on 6 July.

Sam said: “I feel very proud to have been nominated and then to have won the South West Parliamentary Award. It is wonderful to know that my work supporting people with eating disorders for many years has been recognised and appreciated in this way.”

The judging panel said:  “Whilst all the nominees were commendable, we felt that Sam was a very worthy and deserving winner on the basis of innovation, lasting impact, and number of lives reached and changed.

“As the nomination says, ‘From patients, their families to students and staff, Sam’s philosophy encompasses inclusion, equality, integrity, working together to benefit those living with an eating disorder. His contributions to the world of eating disorders have and continue to be exceptional and profound’.”

Sam trained as a mental health nurse at Glenside Hospital in Bristol from 1978 to 1982. He then worked at various inpatient psychiatric units before becoming a Community Psychiatric Nurse in central Bristol in 1986. He began working in Eating Disorders and in 1996, he moved to Gloucestershire to undertake a health needs assessment and develop a strategy for managing eating disorders in the county. He continued, implementing the strategy which promoted early intervention, alongside teaching and supervising mental health staff to work more effectively with patients and families.

In 2008, he was asked to re-design the service focusing on reducing Specialist Eating Disorder Unit admissions by enhancing care and community provision. Subsequently Sam designed and developed our Day Treatment programme then a home treatment service for adolescents both providing intensive interventions aimed at promoting recovery at home. Since 2011, our all age service has expanded, Sam is the clinical lead for a team of 30 staff providing comprehensive interventions. The service has been recognised by NICE guidelines as a ‘flagship’ for Eating Disorder resources.

Justine Hill, Deputy Service Director for Mental Health Specialist Services, said: “Sam prioritises quality of patient care, illustrated by involving global experts in supervising/teaching his team. In Bristol, he identified and facilitated a carers support group for 10 years which has remained a valued resource. Additionally, he co-developed and evaluated a treatment group for Bulimia Nervosa. In Gloucestershire, he pioneered his team to be the first in the UK to train in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy-Enhanced (CBT-E). When re-designing the Eating Disorders Service in 2008, he proposed two principles aiming to enhance early intervention and continuity of care. The service across all ages became one of the first nationally, removing the transition between services at 18. Sam developed open access by accepting self and parental referrals reducing barriers to treatment. Sam also worked for 8 years as a national trainer for the Eating Disorders Association, providing training for teachers and school nurses. He designed the Gloucestershire Day Treatment Programme after visiting the service in Toronto (the first eating disorders day programme in the world) and with colleagues has evaluated and published the outcomes. He co-designed a novel intensive home treatment programme for adolescents which reduced hospital admissions by 70% and use of bed days by 50%. He has been instrumental in developing the Body Project in Gloucestershire (a primary prevention intervention) working with 2 universities to widen access and evaluate the programme. He established one of the first physical health monitoring services for eating disorders in the UK and is a member of the Beat Clinical Advisory Group, supporting the work of the national eating disorders charity.”


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