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Fitness to practice medicine impaired, says medical tribunal looking into Dr Valerie Murphy in charge of Connor Sparrowhawk’s care

14 Nov 2017

Dr Valerie Murphy’s fitness to practice medicine has been found to be impaired by misconduct. This was decided by a medical practitioners tribunal on Sunday 12 October.

Dr Murphy was in charge of the care of 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk at an NHS facility in 2013. Connor, who had epilepsy, learning disabilities and autism, died after having a seizure in the bath.

Welsh government shows support for children with conditions like epilepsy in schools

7 Nov 2017

The Welsh government has supported an amendment to its new bill for additional learning needs in children.

A number of organisations have pushed for the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal Bill (ALN Bill) in Wales to include medical conditions such as epilepsy. These include Epilepsy Action Cymru, Diabetes UK and The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

Parliamentary debate suggests a public inquiry should be held into sodium valproate “scandal”

24 Oct 2017

A parliamentary debate was held in the House of Commons in London on 19 October. At the debate, MPs discussed sodium valproate and foetal anticonvulsant syndrome.

Norman Lamb, chair of the Science and Technology Committee, led the debate. He said that there had been “systematic failure” to warn women of the risks of valproate since the 1970s.

Lacosamide epilepsy medicine approved for use in children over 4 years old with focal-onset seizures

29 Sep 2017

Pharmaceutical company UCB’s lacosamide epilepsy medicine, known as VIMPAT, has been approved by the European Commission for use in children over 4 years old in Europe.

The lacosamide medicine was approved in September for use on its own or alongside other medicines to treat focal-onset seizures. It was previously approved for use in teenagers over 16 years old and adults in Europe.

Southern Health Trust pleads guilty in the case of Connor Sparrowhawk

21 Sep 2017

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety law in the case of Connor Sparrowhawk who died at a facility ran by the trust in 2013.

A representative of the trust attended Banbury Magistrates Court on Monday 18 September for the criminal prosecution hearing brought forward by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Disability Benefits Consortium report finds process for claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP) ‘not fit for purpose’

21 Sep 2017

The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) has concluded that for many people, how Personal Independence Payment (PIP) works is “not fit for purpose”. The DBC has based its conclusion on a survey of 1,730 people who have claimed PIP.

The DBC is made up of a group of over 80 charities, including Epilepsy Action, that represent people who rely on disability benefits.

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