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Lack of donsultants leading toiIncreased diagnosis errors

12 March, 2002

A leading expert in childhood epilepsy has claimed that the high rate of misdiagnosis of epilepsy in children in the UK is due to the lack on specialist consultants.

A survey carried out by the British Paediatric Neurologist Association (BNPA) has revealed that one in seven hospitals do not have a visiting clinic because of a lack of paediatric neurologists.

Dr Richard Appleton, of the Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, claims that a lack of specialist staff is resulting in wrong diagnoses being made, adding that he sees around one child a week who has been wrongly diagnosed due to a lack of consultants.

There are currently only 70 paediatric neurologists in the UK, and the BPNA says there should be at least twice this number.