Date Published: 25 September 2012

RCN comments on specialist nurses for children with epilepsy

The first UK national audit of epilepsy care for children and young people was carried out mainly by medical staff, including nurses and physician. It was led by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

The UK nursing organization the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) commented on the 1st UK National Audit of epilepsy care for children and young people on 24th Sept, expressing concern that fewer than 50% of children with epilepsy had access to a specialist nurse.

Royal College of Nursing Chief Executive & General Secretary, Dr Peter Carter, made the following statement:

" Epilepsy is clearly being treated very well in many parts of the country, and specialist nurses have led the way in helping children and their families to manage epilepsy. However, it is a matter of profound concern to us that this is not the case everywhere. The recommendation that all children have access to a specialist nurse is there for a reason ? the nurse can offer an unparalleled combination of expert clinical advice alongside practical help for children and their families. Epilepsy can be a very distressing and worrying illness for a child to have. Therefore, having a specialist nurse who is on hand to answer questions and give advice on avoiding complications can make all the difference to how well the condition is managed.
_ Too often, without the right advice many children face needless complications which affect not just their health but their education and other activities. We would urge NHS organisations to give every child access to a specialist nurse to keep them as well as possible and to avoid unnecessary and expensive hospital admissions
."

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The role of the specialist nurse in preventing deaths in epilepsy is outlined in the document http://www.sudep.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/National-Sentinel-Audit-2002.pdf which can be downloaded free from the website www.sudep.org, an information resource made available by the UK charity Epilepsy Bereaved.

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Source: Royal College of Nursing (RCN), UK.
For more information see http://www.rcn.org.uk.

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