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Inquiry calls for better epilepsy care

1 October, 2002

A sheriff in Glasgow has called for better care to be provided for people with epilepsy after ruling that a death may have been avoided if "a catalogue of errors" had not been made, according to BBC News.

A Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Colette Findlay highlighted failures by health professionals and the disclosure led to calls for improvements from her family.

Sheriff James Taylor, in his written findings, concluded that Colette's death could have been avoided if "a catalogue of errors" had not been made. He said patients with an "epileptic condition" should be provided with a co-ordinated care plan. Following the inquiry he said local doctors should assess whether it was practical to set up a specialist epilepsy clinic.

Patricia Findlay called on hospitals and general practices to act on the sheriff's recommendations. She said:

"We were asked to accept that the poor care received by Colette - a young person with a significant neurological condition like epilepsy - was adequate and unconnected to her tragic and early death. We reject that view and we are pleased that Sheriff Taylor has also rejected it. Epilepsy sufferers in Glasgow are entitled to expect far better standards of healthcare."

A Scottish Executive spokesman said:

"We recognise that the co-ordination of services for people with epilepsy can be further improved and we are now moving towards that through the establishment of Managed Clinical Networks (MCNs). MCNs are an imaginative and innovative way of developing services to link together all the points at which patient care is delivered."