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Tackling epilepsy services shortcomings

Monday, January 19, 2009

Heeley MP Meg Munn recently attended the parliamentary launch of an important new report on epilepsy services. ‘Epilepsy in England: time for change’ shows that epilepsy is a worryingly low priority for England’s health service providers, despite numerous expert reports highlighting the need for better service provision. The report has identified considerable failings against national guidelines for epilepsy services set out by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

 

The Report, which draws on results from a survey of primary care trusts (PCTs) and Acute Trusts across England, exposed a bleak picture for people with epilepsy

  • despite NICE guidelines that all people with suspected epilepsy should be seen by an epilepsy specialist, half (49%) of acute trusts do not employ one,
  • despite NICE guidelines stating that all people with suspected epilepsy should been seen urgently (within two weeks), most trusts (more than 90%) have waiting lists of longer than this, and
  • despite NICE guidelines stating epilepsy specialist nurses (ESNs) should be an integral part of the medical team providing care to people with epilepsy; well over half of Acute Trusts (60%) and of PCTs (64%) do not have one.           

 

Following the launch event, Meg said:

 

“The report shows a worrying lack of attention being paid to epilepsy services in England by local healthcare providers. However, after been in contact with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals I am content that they are beginning to put in place measures to address their epilepsy service delivery.”

 

Meg will be joining with national charity, Epilepsy Action, in calling for the government to show improvement in epilepsy services. ‘Epilepsy in England: time for change’ sets out a ten point plan to address the specifics of adequate service provision for all epilepsy patients in England and ensure patients’ lives aren’t compromised.

 

The full report is available for viewing at www.epilepsy.org.uk/timeforchange.

Associated Photograph :

Meg with Simon Wigglesworth, Deputy Chief Executive of Epilepsy Action

Meg with Simon Wigglesworth, Deputy Chief Executive of Epilepsy Action


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