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The Results of Epilepsy12

The results of Epilepsy12, a UK wide audit of paediatric epilepsy services, hit the headlines on Monday 24 September 2012 and was discussed in many of the UK's national newspapers.

The Epilepsy12 audit comprised 12 questions directed to medical professionals and a few parents, representing a total of 5000 children with epilepsy and discussing specific aspects of paediatric epilepsy services in the UK.

Although the findings of the survey confirmed that overall, paediatric epilepsy services in recent years have improved considerably, the survey highlighted that there are still reasons to be deeply concerned. The greatest gap in the service is the lack of specialist nursing support.

Over 50% of children with epilepsy are not referred to a specialist epilepsy nurse or paediatric neurologist within the first year of diagnosis, the worst service being evident in England, suggesting that a postcode lottery prevails in terms of quality of care.

The audit also highlighted inadequate initial assessments.

We already know that epilepsy can have devastating consequences for quality of life for the child and their family, impacting educational achievement and badly affect the life of sufferers.  The weakness in paediatric epilepsy services will therefore lead to poor quality of life outcomes.

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