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The Unsung Superhero of Eating Disorder Services

4th March 2022

Contributed by Anny, Blogger and Lived Experience Practitioner with the Healthy London Partnership Adult Eating Disorder Programme

Introducing the Administrator.

Administrators are often underestimated for what they bring to a service or organisation. Employed as a runner on set rather than cast in a leading role, they’re regularly found hanging on to the bottom rung of hierarchical structures. However, they powerfully own the frontline and have a significance they rarely get credit for.

To improve the Eating Disorder Service, it’s essential to understand the value that they offer. They’re so much more than a feedback form

Tick boxes are neat and tidy, providing data for interpretation, but what I tick in a box on a feedback form isn’t always what I really think, feel or remember. Neither does it reflect what I’d share with a real person who I feel safe and comfortable talking to, without the clinical power I can often fear.

Administrators have unique insight to support improvements and create solutions. They have the power to transform the service user’s experience.

Stuff happens, things don’t always go well and people don’t always feel their best. Administrators with compassion, understanding and resilience are the superheroes who can turn a negative experience into a positive one. They reassure, ease nerves and clear the path of access to services and recovery.

Whether that’s processing paperwork, offering a warm welcome or supporting colleagues, they can be the difference between a functioning service and one that allows people to fall through the cracks. They have skills that can transform the service

More than a robot programmed to do repetitive, uninspiring duties, administrators have skills, talents, experience and ideas that often surpass their pay grade and job description. Maybe if someone asked, invited or provided the space to contribute, they’d help to create real solutions to real problems.

While there isn’t a star in this show, administrators are an important part of the team. They impact the experience that changes lives for people like me who feel trapped in an eating disorder. If improvement and change is going to happen, diversity and inclusion must be considered in its broadest sense – not least by bringing administrators in the conversation too.

Anny is a Lived Experience Practitioner on Healthy London Partnership’s Adult Eating Disorders Programme. She’s an Author and blogs about her recovery from Binge Eating Disorder at thefatuglyblog.com.

You can find more resources on our dedicated webpage for Eating Disorders 2022 awareness week.

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