We exist to improve the lives
of everyone affected by epilepsy

Launch of Welsh Assembly epilepsy group

7 July, 2004

A group of Welsh Assembly members aiming to raise the political profile of epilepsy has been launched.

The Cross Party Group will work with the All Wales Epilepsy Forum and the Joint Epilepsy Council
(JEC) to raise the profile of the condition and campaign for
improvements in health services that will improve the lives of the
26,000 people in Wales with the condition.

Amongst those present at the launch at National Assembly in Cardiff
were Jocelyn Davies AM, who will chair the new Welsh Assembly group,
David Josephs, chair of the JEC, and Dr Phil Smith, consultant
neurologist at the University Hospital of Wales who gave a presentation
on epilepsy.

Jocelyn Davies highlighted that raising awareness of epilepsy should be a key objective for politicians. She said:

'Epilepsy
can affect anyone, at any age, and of any background, and despite being
a comparatively common condition, it is surprisingly misunderstood.
That has led to those affected by the condition being subject to
prejudice and discrimination, reinforcing the existing stigma attached
to epilepsy.'

David Josephs added:

'After
years of neglect there is a window of opportunity for people with
epilepsy in Wales. The Welsh Assembly government has started work on an
epilepsy action plan; NICE Guidelines are due to be published in
September; the new GMS contract should improve treatment in primary
care and now a Cross Party Group is being set up. Let us hope the
politicians and clinicians take it with both hands.'