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of everyone affected by epilepsy

Neurologists may face "tidal wave" of referrals

4 March, 2004

Specialists have
warned that neurologists may face a "tidal wave" of
referrals of patients with epilepsy as a result of the new UK General
Medical Services (GMS) contract, according to a report from Hospital
Doctor.

The contract, which starts in April, encourages GPs [local family doctors]
to compile a register of patients receiving drug treatment for epilepsy
and sets three quality indicators with financial rewards.

Consultant neurologist Dr John Paul Leach, of the Southern General
Hospital in Glasgow, told a recent conference that the contract
meant that GPs
would refer more patients with epilepsy to specialists. He acknowledged
that many patients are not currently being referred as often as they
should be and that the new contract does highlight this.

He
commented:

"Neurologists may face
a 'tidal wave' of epilepsy referrals, with a marked increase in numbers
that we will have to try to deal with."