Epilepsy Action Cymru call for epilepsy specialist nurse

Published: June 14 2021
Last updated: September 27 2022

Epilepsy Action Cymru is calling on Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) to appoint an extra Epilepsy Specialist Nurse (ESN).

The organisation said it has heard reports of people waiting up to 18 months to see a neurologist in areas in Wales covered by the health board. Hywel Dda UHB covers Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, including Bronglais, Glangwili, Prince Philip and Withybush hospitals.

There is currently one ESN working for the health board, but a proposal had been made to create a post for a second ESN, which was rejected by the health board. Epilepsy Action Cymru has urged the health board to reconsider, by writing to the chief executive of Hywel Dda UHB, Steve Moore.

ESNs are a vital part of the epilepsy healthcare team, supporting consultant neurologists and healthcare professionals to provide advice, support and care during and between appointments, Epilepsy Action stressed. ESNs are an important point of contact for people with epilepsy, offering help with medicine, managing risks from seizures and supporting people to cope with daily life.

The letter outlines the support ESNs offer people with epilepsy, their role in relieving pressure from epilepsy services and the urgent need for another ESN in the area.

Epilepsy Action is urging members and supporters in the area to also write to the chief executive to raise their concerns about the decision not to employ a second ESN and share their experiences. The organisation has drafted a template letter which can be downloaded from the Epilepsy Action website and sent by email or post.

The organisation is also campaigning more broadly for more ESNs in Wales.