We exist to improve the lives
of everyone affected by epilepsy

3.1 Getting started

Agree and establish all referral and communication pathways within the practice. These include:

  • practice-patient communication
  • internal practice communication
  • practice communication with secondary care and community-based epilepsy specialist nurse, if available.

Collate resources containing written information for patients.

Protocols for reviewing patients will vary from practice to practice. Before embarking on a review process a practice meeting between the practice manager, lead GP and practice nurse should be held to discuss the following issues:

  • referral criteria to secondary care
  • decide who will carry out annual reviews; this may be an appropriately trained practice nurse or GP
  • method of communication between practice nurse if carrying out the reviews and GP
  • finding out if there is an epilepsy specialist nurse and making contact
  • referral pathway and criteria with the neurology service
  • level of patient involvement
  • identifying any training needs to improve epilepsy care.

Once all these issues have been agreed and before starting the reviews, it would be helpful to gather together written information for patients. This should include information on all the topics outlined in the Information checklist and useful addresses (see A.14).

Find out about local support services or self-help groups for people with epilepsy from Epilepsy Action’s website at www.epilepsy.org.uk

The practice should also ensure that all data entry templates are updated so that all aspects of the annual review are recorded in the patient notes. This will help with the continuity of care and the assessment for QOF. This is described in more detail throughout this section.

Finally, customise the standard letters found on this website in line with the agreed processes and your practice details.

For those practices which decide to use their nurses to carry out reviews, additional training may be required.

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