Epilepsy Action’s President, Baroness Ford of Cunninghame, put forward a Question for Short Debate in the main chamber of the UK House of Lords on Tuesday. The subject of the debate was epilepsy services.
Baroness Ford spoke about her own experience as a parent of children with epilepsy. She talked of the difficulties faced by families affected by epilepsy and the failings of the NHS in providing adequate services. She also referred to the recent court case involving children with fetal valproate syndrome, and raised the issue of women with epilepsy not receiving pre-conception counselling.
Baroness Pitkeathley, Baroness Hussein-Ece, Lord Patel, Lord Stevenson and Baroness Wheeler also made contributions. A number of important issues were covered, including support for carers, services for children and young people, misdiagnosis rates and epilepsy specialist nurses.
Epilepsy Action's Vice-President, Lord Smith of Leigh, also spoke, praising Epilepsy Action for its support for people with epilepsy. He asked important questions about epilepsy services will be commissioned under the NHS reforms and how GPs will be supported to put good services in place.
Baroness Northover responded on behalf of the government.
You can watch the debate again here (it starts at appoximately six hours and 14 minutes).
This debate follows a recent 90-minute debate in the House of Commons, brought by Epilepsy Action’s Vice President Paul Maynard MP, and the first reading last week of a Ten Minute Rule Bill on epilepsy put forward by Valerie Vaz MP.
This is an exciting time for people with epilepsy, as the condition is receiving a lot of attention in parliament at the moment. Please help us keep the momentum and push epilepsy up the political agenda.