Epilepsy safety tool now accessible to 50% of primary care clinicians in England
Thanks to a collaboration with Ardens, SUDEP Action is now able to make the SUDEP and Seizure Safety Checklist (‘Checklist’) instantly downloadable to over 50% of English GP surgeries clinicians across England.
Ardens, who provide templates and resources for EMIS Health and SystmOne patient record systems, have included a link within their templates to enable any primary care clinician using them to download the Checklist directly.
Their templates are used by over 2,800 general practices across England. Ardens also works with over 31 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), 4 Sustainability & Transformation Partnerships (STPs), 60 Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and many other groups too. Helping to give clinicians easy access to the latest evidence-based resources, and promoting best practice, medicines management and patient safety.
Previous research into the Checklist has proven that repeated use of the tool to discuss and manage epilepsy risks can help improve safety among those known to have epilepsy risk factors in their lives. It has also demonstrated that the Checklist can be used to ensure people with epilepsy are under the care of the right clinician, at the right time.
Updates have also been made to the templates to encourage and support clinicians to:
- upload a completed Checklist into patient records,
- document they have had SUDEP and epilepsy risk discussions (and note what the outcomes of these discussions are),
- encourage signposting of people with epilepsy to EpSMon, the free app, so people with epilepsy can monitor their own epilepsy risks in between appointments.
When downloading the Checklist, clinicians will also gain access to a range of free SUDEP Action resources to support both themselves and their patients, as well as having the option to hear more from SUDEP Action.
Sammy Ashby from SUDEP Action, who is the project coordinator for the Checklist said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity to bring potentially life-saving epilepsy risk information to the fingertips, or mouse clicks, of many primary care clinicians across England – some of whom may support people with epilepsy but be unaware of the significant risks the condition brings.
Discussing and reducing epilepsy risks has been well known for many years; with the 2002 National Audit into epilepsy deaths flagging its importance. But against the current pandemic backdrop, and recent national inquiries and reports warning of increasing deaths – the inclusion of the Checklist and signposting to EpSMon in these patient record systems, to support clinicians and empower people with epilepsy, is more important than ever.
We’re delighted that Ardens has worked with us to enable this to happen in such a positive way, and we hope that the inclusion of the Checklist & EpSMon within their templates will help improve patient safety and prevent some of the avoidable epilepsy deaths which happen each year in the UK.”
Dr. Merlin Dunlop, Medical Director at Ardens commented:
“We are always looking for ways to improve our tools to make them as effective and useful as possible for clinicians and patients. Collaborating with SUDEP Action on these additions to our templates will put these tools at the fingertips of over half of English GP surgeries and help to further improve consistency and safety of their reviews of patients with epilepsy.”
The SUDEP and Seizure Safety Checklist launched in 2017 following research in Cornwall on epilepsy related deaths. SUDEP Action runs the project in collaboration with Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Since its launch, over 1,200 clinicians across the UK have registered for the Checklist, across clinical settings and roles. The tool was also made available in Australia in 2019, following a collaboration with Epilepsy Action Australia.
The Checklist is underpinned by the latest research evidence into SUDEP and epilepsy-related mortality, and is supported by a Development Group of leading experts.
For more information about the Checklist, or to register for the tool if you cannot access it via your patient record system, please see: www.sudep.org/checklist