Thanks to the fundraising and lobbying efforts from people like you we’re proud to announce that you’ve helped fund brand new epilepsy specialist nurses across the UK. Sapphire Nurses provide a first point of contact for a person trying to work their way through a complicated health system. So thank you.
New Sapphire Nurses in 2014:
South Devon – Jenny Piedot is a full time adult epilepsy specialist nurse based in Paignton hospital. She covers a huge patch across South Devon, including Teignmouth, Dawlish, Torbay and Newton Abbot.
Northumbria – Andrea Irlam is a paediatric epilepsy specialist nurse based in North Tyneside General Hospital in North Shields. Andrea has been a nurse for the past 25 years and will be providing nurse led clinics and a teenage transition clinic from January 2015.
Hywel Dda – Claire Larkin started her role as a full time adult epilepsy specialist nurse on 29th September 2014. Based in Glangwili General Hospital, Carmarthen, Claire will be setting up a new epilepsy specialist nurse service across the Hywel Dda Health Board area, including Llanelli, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest and Aberystwyth.
Sapphire Nurses - the origins
The Sapphire Nurse Scheme originates from Epilepsy Action's 45th anniversary year (sapphire anniversary) in 1995.
The Sapphire Nurse Scheme has appointed 91 epilepsy specialist nurses within NHS trusts throughout the UK. Funding has been provided for a maximum of one year, full time, or two years, part time and after that the NHS takes over all ongoing costs.
In 2014 the scheme closed for new applications, when all available funding was allocated. We hope to be able to fund the first year of more nurse posts when we have more funds available.
The aims of the Sapphire Nurse
Sapphire Nurses promote good practice and to act as a specialist resource in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with epilepsy; to encourage the setting up of specialist epilepsy clinics in hospitals and GP practices and participate in research into epilepsy.
The introduction of Sapphire Nurses has heightened the awareness of epilepsy and encouraged partnerships with other specialist nurses, GPs, NHS Trusts, educationalists, employers and people with epilepsy.
Sapphire Nurses also manage clinics, offering patients counselling, advice and discussion on the effect of their condition. They also work between GP practices and hospitals developing the knowledge of GPs and practice nurses.
Consultants are able to offer a wider service for their clients with epilepsy thanks to the support of Epilepsy Action Sapphire Nurses.
Sapphire nurse for epilepsy commissioning
For information on Juliet Ashton, the new Sapphire nurse for epilepsy commissioning, see the article in our online magazine.
You can contact the Epilepsy Helpline for full details of your local Sapphire Nurse service on 0808 800 5050.
No Sapphire Nurse in your local area?
Why not make epilepsy care a priority?