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Prime Minister pledges to raise the profile of epilepsy
Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to help raise the profile of epilepsy and tackle the stigma which still surrounds the condition.
On 12 October, Mr Cameron, a vice president of Epilepsy Society, met with; MPs Valerie Vaz and Laura Sandys, a party from the Joint Epilepsy Council - an umbrella body representing UK epilepsy charities, and Professor Helen Cross, Prince of Wales’ chair of childhood epilepsy at UCL- institute of child health, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.
During the positive meeting Mr Cameron, whose son Ivan had cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy and died, aged six, in 2009, agreed to consider Valerie Vaz’s epilepsy Ten Minute Rule Bill and look at improving health and education services for people with the condition.
Valerie Vaz MP said: 'We see this meeting as a turning point. The Prime Minister’s support is very valuable.'
Graham Faulkner, Epilepsy Society’s chief executive said: 'We are encouraged by Mr Cameron’s response. His undertaking comes as new figures show a rise in the number of people with a diagnosis of epilepsy to more than half a million. The rise can be attributed to improved recording and monitoring, an ageing population and higher incidence of epilepsy in later life as well as the general increase in population. But as the UK’s most common serious neurological condition it’s important we have the most up to date figures to give health services, social services and education organisations the data they need to design and provide the support services people with epilepsy need.
'We are working hard to achieve better outcomes for services in neurology. Epilepsy Society is now an affiliate member of Neurological Commissioning Support (NSC) an initiative working alongside health and social care commissioners, to ensure that people affected by long-term neurological conditions are at the heart of commissioning producing clear recommendations to deliver better outcomes for services in neurology.'