A debate about epilepsy took place yesterday in the House of Commons. Raising a huge array of issues on behalf of people living with the condition, many hope it will begin the process of improving care, support and awareness of the condition.
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The Prime Minister, Rt Hon. David Cameron MP, will meet with a group of epilepsy representatives, including charities, to discuss the condition.
This was announced in response to question put to him by the Member of Parliament for Walsall South, Valarie Vaz MP, at Prime Ministers’ Questions earlier today.
We are disappointed to let you know that the second reading of Bill 112, Epilepsy and Related Conditions, did not go ahead in the UK Parliament on Friday 4 March as planned.
This is a set-back, but is not unexpected. This is the point in the process that most ten minute rule bills fail. We hoped that by pressuring the government, they would help make sure the second reading was held.
Members of Parliament will be raising awareness of epilepsy on Tuesday (12 October) with a debate in Westminster Hall.
The debate will be on epilepsy services in the NHS. It will be started by Paul Maynard MP (Blackpool North and Cleveleys). Paul has epilepsy and was recently chosen by Epilepsy Action to be one of our vice-presidents.
Paul will do an opening speech and other MPs will intervene and make short speeches. So far, 10 MPs have said they want to speak.
Yesterday saw the launch 'Epilepsy in England: time for change', a major report by Epilepsy Action revealing that epilepsy is a worryingly low priority for England's health service providers. This is despite several previous reports highlighting the need to improve the poor state of services.
We've done a survey of health trusts to find out about current services available for people with epilepsy. The results of this survey will be made available to individual health trusts to help inform them about any gaps in service provision. The results will also allow Epilepsy Action to assess epilepsy services available in different parts of the country.
These results will be presented in a full report which will be launched at the House of Commons on 14 January 2009.