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Best clinical practice for diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy QS26

Quality standard 26 defines clinical best practice within the diagnosis and management of the epilepsies in adults aged 18 years and over.  It provides specific, concise quality statements, measures and audience descriptors to provide the public, health and social care professionals, commissioners and service providers with definitions of high-quality care. Issued February 2013.

Statement 1 Referral to a specialist 

Adults presenting with a suspected seizure are seen by a specialist in the diagnosis and management of the epilepsies within 2 weeks of presentation.

Statement 2 Investigations

Adults having initial investigations for epilepsy undergo the tests within 4 weeks of them being requested.

Statement 3  Magnetic resonance imaging

Adults who meet the criteria for neuroimaging for epilepsy have magnetic resonance imaging.

Statement 4  Epilepsy care plan

Adults with epilepsy have an agreed and comprehensive written epilepsy care plan.

Statement 5 Epilepsy specialist nurse

Adults with epilepsy are seen by an epilepsy specialist nurse who they can contact between scheduled reviews.

Statement 6 Prolonged or repeated seizures

Adults with a history of prolonged or repeated seizures have an agreed written emergency care plan.

Statement 7  Referral to tertiary care

Adults who meet the criteria for referral to a tertiary care specialist are seen within 4 weeks of referral.

Statement 8  Re-access to specialist care

Adults with epilepsy who have medical or lifestyle issues that need review are referred to specialist epilepsy services.

Statement 9  Transition from children's to adult services

Young people with epilepsy have an agreed transition period during which their continuing epilepsy care is reviewed jointly by paediatric and adult services.


In addition, quality standards that should also be considered when commissioning and providing a high-quality epilepsy service are listed in related NICE quality standards.