Bartuf is a family owned Yorkshire business founded in 1995 and based in Armley, Leeds. They are one of the UK’s leading designers, manufacturers and suppliers of innovative retail display solutions.
In January 2018, John, a member of staff working in the sales team, was diagnosed with epilepsy. He experiences tonic-clonic seizures. Feeling tired, stressed or anxious can trigger John’s seizures and he is currently taking medication to help control the condition.
The management team at Bartuf responded quickly and thoroughly to support John following his diagnosis. Drawing upon advice and guidance provided by the Epilepsy Action website, the company drafted a seizure care plan with John’s input. This was issued to his close work colleagues and all company first aiders. The plan includes key emergency contact information and what colleagues could do to assist John before, during and after a seizure.
Bartuf set up a safe area near to John’s desk, giving him a place to go when he is feeling unwell, or when he is about to have a seizure. The company also undertook a comprehensive risk assessment and implemented a risk reduction action plan. Epilepsy awareness training, which Bartuf requested from Epilepsy Action, helped to support these measures. Epilepsy Action delivered two full sessions on the company’s premises to John’s immediate work colleagues, with John himself participating. The training proved to be a very positive experience, clearly reflecting the supportive values and caring culture embedded within this successful commercial company.
Since the awareness training, the Bartuf staff members feel much more knowledgeable about epilepsy and would feel more confident helping anyone who has a seizure during or outside work.
“The training certainly helped to correct some of the misconceptions we had about epilepsy,” says Andy Hewitt, Project Manager at Bartuf. “It gave us key information on what may trigger a seizure, the symptoms to look for prior to a seizure and the simple steps we need to take to ensure the person is kept safe and comfortable before, during and after a seizure. In general, it’s not as scary as we all initially thought. Creating a seizure care plan with John was a really useful process too,” Andy adds. “It helped us both to fully understand his condition and look how we could support him in the work place. The reassurance worked both ways during this process.”
“Fortunately John’s medication is successfully controlling his condition and he is currently three months seizure-free. So we have not needed to put our training and plan into action. It’s nice to know we are prepared and will be able to support John if the situation ever arises.”
Bartuf have set a shining example of how to support an employee with epilepsy.