Epilepsy Action Wales are writing to the Chief Executive of the Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB), calling on him to progress a proposal to appoint an extra Epilepsy Specialist Nurse (ESN) for the area. Hywel Dda UHB covers Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire in South West Wales, and includes Bronglais, Glangwili, Prince Philip and Withybush hospitals.
We have had reports that people with epilepsy are waiting up to 18 months to see the neurologist at Hywel Dda UHB.
We know that ESNs are vital team members providing care to people with epilepsy. They work alongside consultant neurologists and other healthcare professionals to provide essential advice and support during and, as importantly, in-between appointments. ESNs can be a lifeline for people with epilepsy, helping with medicine, managing risks from seizures and supporting people to cope with daily life. They can also offer help with benefits applications, education and employment.
An additional ESN in the area would also help to increase Consultant Neurologist outpatient capacity to assess more urgent neurology referrals, reduce the numbers of emergency department attendances and hospital admissions due to improved preventative management of epilepsy, and reduce the increased mortality rate demonstrated in people with epilepsy where there is poor access to timely specialist services.
In addition to the letter from Epilepsy Action, we are asking members and supporters in the area to support our calls and write to the Chief Executive, Steve Moore.