After many years in the shadows, the care and management of people with epilepsy has at last moved up the health agenda. In 2002, the National Sentinel Clinical Audit of Epilepsy-Related
Death1 highlighted some deficiencies in how epilepsy is managed, prompting the development and regular review of national guidance.
Two years later, the first NICE guidelines in epilepsy management were published, and these were then updated in 2012. The NICE guidance recommends primary care as a key partner in caring for people with epilepsy.2 Also recently updated is the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), with the 2011/12 QOF recommending annual contraceptive/conceptive advice for women of childbearing age.3 Most recently the NHS Outcomes Framework stated that epilepsy was an overarching indicator of potential years of life lost. Epilepsy was highlighted as one of the conditions where a reduction in emergency hospital admissions is sought.4
Epilepsy Action is committed to helping you implement national recommendations for best practice epilepsy management. This website contains materials that have been updated in line with new guidance, while the online format makes it simpl and convenient to use.
Epilepsy Action was a founding member of The Information Standard, a quality mark for health and social care information based on a set of stringent criteria. We have worked for many years to support people with epilepsy by providing information, a freephone Epilepsy Helpline and our website - the world's most visited epilepsy website outside the US. We also support patients and the health service with our Sapphire Nurse scheme, which provides initial funding for epilepsy specialist nurses.
As Dr Bill Hall, a GP from Settle, Yorkshire whose help has been invaluable in producing this resource, says:
Each GP probably has one or two patients who could be helped to become seizure-free. The quality markers for epilepsy are realistic and achievable with only small amounts of effort. Practices are getting the encouragement and resources we need to improve services for a neglected group of patients. This resource contains everything you need to make a start, and the rewards should be high.
2 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), 2012. The epilepsies: The diagnosis and management of the epilepsies in adults and children in primary and secondary care. [CG137]. London: NICE.
3 British Medical Association, 2011. QOF guidance, fourth revision 2011-2012. [online] (Accessed 01/08/2011).