March 2016

Epilepsy is a serious condition and the Government is determined to do all they can in making sure those diagnosed with the condition get the support they need.

NHS England is responsible for making sure people with long term conditions receive the help they need. I believe that prominent diagnosis, treatment and seizure control are all essential things that NHS England help do effectively. Furthermore institutions like the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provide advice for all those newly diagnosed and I would recommend anybody with the condition had a look at the advice they give.

As to concerns that not enough research is being done, both the audit for paediatric epilepsy and the National Mortality Case Record Review, are currently taking place. Furthermore NHS England have just started a new national children’s epilepsy surgery service, which offers any services for children with epilepsy and which is fully supported by this Government.

I know that for many specific cases Epilepsy cannot be controlled and for them, NHS England commissions specialised neurological services nationally where patients have access to a specialist multidisciplinary team and expert treatments suitable for them.

Finally, The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) invests over £1 billion a year in research, bringing benefits to patients with epilepsy and other conditions.  The NIHR Clinical Research Network is currently recruiting patients to 27 epilepsy trials and studies.

I hope you will all join me in showing your support by wearing a purple wrist band on the 26th of March, on Epilepsy awareness day (Purple Day), to raise awareness of epilepsy.

For more support or advice about the condition you can Freephone 0808 800 5050, or email helpline@epilepsy.org.uk.