A new report has been launched as part of an ongoing initiative from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). The report explores epilepsy care for children and young people in the UK – and shows that services are improving
The Epilepsy12 Audit examines the provision of paediatric epilepsy care in the UK. Findings were first published in 2012 in a report that highlighted several shortfalls in healthcare for this patient group.
A second Epilepsy12 report is now available, comparing new data against those in the initial report. While there is a long way to go, the report does show improvements in the numbers of epilepsy specialist nurses (ESNs), specialist clinics and transitional services.
The first report highlighted that only 46 per cent of children and young people with epilepsy had access to an ESN. This has increased to 58 per cent according to the new report. A 12 per cent increase over two years is certainly progress. However, study authors point out that 42 per cent of children and young people with epilepsy are still without access to an ESN.
Worryingly, the new report also points out that over half of children – 57 per cent – who should have been referred to a paediatric neurologist were not.
Colin Dunkley is project lead for the pilepsy12 National Audit. He said: “There have been welcome improvements in epilepsy care. Children and young people are seeing a more expert team, being diagnosed more accurately… but we cannot become complacent. There is still a long way to go.”
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The results of a national audit of epilepsy care for children and young people have been presented during a session at the 10th European Congress on Epileptology this morning. It is hoped that these results will help inform the improvement of epilepsy care for children throughout the UK - including in education settings