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First ever UK epilepsy care plan announced by Welsh Assembly

8 February 2008

New plans to improve care for thousands of people in Wales with epilepsy have been announced by Welsh Assembly Government health minister Edwina Hart.

The plans include measures to reduce the incidence of epilepsy, help people to self-manage their condition and provide more care closer to people’s homes – reducing the likelihood of hospital admission. It is estimated that well-managed medication procedures can help around 70 per cent of people with epilepsy to be seizure-free – thereby reducing the risk of emergency admission. It is the first time such a plan has been outlined in any UK country.

Other measures include:

  • ensuring quicker assessment, diagnosis and treatment for people with epilepsy;
  • requiring each local health board to develop a local action plan for epilepsy and ensure that multi-disciplinary teams are in place; and,
  • developing appropriate evidence-based care pathways to ensure people with epilepsy are treated in the right place, at the right time and by the right person.

The All Wales Epilepsy Forum, an umbrella alliance for voluntary sector groups supporting epilepsy in Wales, has applauded the plans. Epilepsy Action's Ann Reynolds, chair of the Forum, said:

"We applaud these plans and are delighted to have worked with the Welsh Assembly Government in producing this ground breaking initiative. If the plans are implemented fully we believe they should lead to real improvements in epilepsy services and have a positive impact for people with epilepsy in Wales.

"This plan is the first of its kind in the UK. I am pleased that the Welsh Assembly Government is leading the way in improving the care and treatment for people living with epilepsy."

Consultation on the plans will close on 2 May 2008.

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