New plans to improve care for thousands of people in Wales with epilepsy have been announced by Welsh Assembly Government health minister Edwina Hart.
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;
each local health board to develop a local action plan for epilepsy and
ensure that multi-disciplinary teams are in place; and,
appropriate evidence-based care pathways to ensure people with epilepsy
are treated in the right place, at the right time and by the right
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
Consultation on the plans will close on 2 May 2008.