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16 April 2015

Audit shows disparity in epilepsy treatment

A wide disparity in the treatment of people with epilepsy has been revealed by a nationwide audit. NASH (the National Audit of Seizure management in Hospitals) looked at the services and care available to people admitted to hospital after a seizure.

The audit, published in BMJ Open (31 March)  showed a considerable variability in care covering the entire care pathway and a need for better organised and accessible care.

Two NASH audits have now taken place. The audits are focused upon people taken to A&E after an epileptic seizure. Immediate, previous and onward care pathways were then tracked.

Raising the profile of epilepsy

Despite epilepsy being the most common serious neurological condition - more than 500,000 people live with the condition in the UK - it is not high on the commissioning agenda. It is often ignored behind the higher profiles of heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and stroke.

NASH hopes to raise the profile of epilepsy by providing information that will encourage clinicians within Trusts and commissioners within Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to include it actively when planning services.

The project is based on the successful methods already used for other health conditions and has been developed with input from emergency physicians, epilepsy specialists and patient groups.

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