Care report hailed
Epilepsy Bereaved has welcomed the UK’s first national audit of epilepsy care for children and young people.
About one in 200 children in the UK are affected by epilepsy, yet the Epilepsy12 Audit report suggests the standard of care they receive varies greatly.
The report, launched this week, says:
- 79% of children with epilepsy saw a paediatrician with specialist training in childhood epilepsy
- 87% had their seizure type appropriately classified - important in determining the best form of treatment
- Only 46% of children saw an epilepsy specialist nurse - against a recommendation that all children have access to one
- 40% of children did not see a paediatric neurologist where required
- 65% of children had an appropriate first assessment; 35% did not have a complete first assessment
Dr Colin Dunkley, a paediatrician and project leader for the Epilepsy12 Audit, said: "We've seen marked steps forward in epilepsy care for children in recent years; the majority of children are now being seen by paediatricians with expertise and many are getting detailed diagnoses and being prescribed the most appropriate medicines first time. But there are certain areas that need to be improved if we're to give children and young people the best possible medical treatment and ongoing care to help manage their epilepsy and maximise their learning and quality of life.”
Jane Hanna, director of Epilepsy Bereaved, said: “We welcome this important report about epilepsy care for children. In difficult economic times when the NHS is looking to cut costs, it is crucial that we bring attention to the evidence that will both protect and support development of epilepsy services.”