This page is about National Epilepsy Week 2009. Find out how you can get involved in 2016.
National Epilepsy Week 2009 takes place from 17-23 May. Epilepsy Action is using this week to keep up the pressure on politicians to improve epilepsy services across the United Kingdom and needs your help.
- Report on the lobbying events of National Epilepsy Week
- All Party Parliamentary Group on epilepsy, 19 May 2009
Awareness and understanding about epilepsy is low among politicians and action needs to be taken to improve epilepsy services for the 456,000 people with the condition across the UK. A survey carried out in 2007 found that almost 90 per cent of MPs questioned did not know how many people in the UK have epilepsy. A further 45 per cent of the MPs questioned admitted they had “no idea” how many people have the condition.
Despite some improvements in epilepsy services, there is still a great deal of work to be done. Epilepsy care and treatment continue to be underfunded across the UK.
Epilepsy Action wants politicians across the UK to take notice of people with epilepsy and commit to help improve epilepsy services. To achieve this, we need as many of you as possible– and your friends and families – to meet with your local Member of Parliament (MP), Assembly Member (AM), Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) or Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) at the national Parliament/Assembly of the country you live in. This will take place on 20 May 2009 in England, Scotland and Wales and on 18 May in Northern Ireland.
We want this to be a landmark moment in campaigning for better services for people with epilepsy. These meetings will provide a fantastic opportunity for you and other people living with epilepsy to talk about how epilepsy impacts on your lives and the improvements that could be made to epilepsy services. They will also help to raise the profile of epilepsy.
It’s crucial that a large number of people take part to get across to their representative how important it is that services improve. The more people taking part the greater the opportunity to influence change. We want to succeed in raising the profile of epilepsy, and the need for better treatment and services, and we need your help to do this.
Epilepsy services across the UK:
In England: The lobby of Westminster will build on our Epilepsy in England: time for change report, and the current early day parliamentary motion ‘Epilepsy in England’.
Organised by the Joint Epilepsy Council, it is taking place on the afternoon of Wednesday 20 May 2009.
In Wales: The lobby of the National Assembly for Wales, in conjunction with the All Wales Epilepsy Forum (AWEF), will take place in Ty Hywel on Wednesday 20 May 2009.
The recently published “Service Development Directive: Epilepsy” will provide us with a great platform to raise awareness of the current state of care in Wales. We will maintain pressure until the directive’s key actions are properly implemented.
Invitations have also been sent to all Local Health Board Executives.
In Northern Ireland: The lobby of Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) will be on Monday 18 May at the Long Gallery, in Stormont Castle.
In Scotland: We have not organised a formal lobby of Holyrood; however this should not deter us from lobbying Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). We are asking our supporters in Scotland to write to their MSP and request a meeting during National Epilepsy Week, to discuss local epilepsy services and how they can be improved.
There will be a JEC display stand in the Scottish Parliament on the 20 and 21 May with a photo opportunity for MSPs on the 21st.