Trust’s epilepsy service for children and young people rated best in Eastern England

Following a highly detailed audit carried out in 2014 by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Trust’s epilepsy service for children and young people was rated as the best performing in the East of England. Those involved in this annual review – called Epilepsy 12 – look at the whole service, from the support given to young patients in the community through to the care provided by their specialist hospital-based colleagues.

Children epilepsy team - web ready

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In total the audit examined a range of indicators from the following 12 separate areas, including:
• Having consultant paediatricians with expertise in epilepsy;
• Having epilepsy specialist nurses;
• Involvement with tertiary (teaching hospital) epilepsy services;
• Providing patients with appropriate first clinical assessments;
• Accurate diagnosis and classification of seizures;
• Appropriate use of diagnostic services, especially ECGs, EEGs and MRI scans.

The Trust team scored highly in all 12 categories, but achieved a 100% rating in the following important areas:
• Having input from a consultant with expertise in epilepsy;
• Input from a specialist nurse;
• Appropriate first assessment;
• Accuracy of diagnosis;
• Information and advice;
• Patient experience in terms of the provision of the service, as well as information provided to the families of children with epilepsy.

Jill Conium, one of the Trust’s specialist epilepsy nurses who has helped develop the service over the last few years, said:

“When I joined the team a few years ago as an epilepsy specialist nurse, the ambition was to develop and grow this very important service. When a child or young person is diagnosed with having any form of epilepsy, it can be a very challenging time for them and their families.

“This is why it’s important that our service provides access to speedy and accurate diagnosis, with the treatments offered being suitable for both the condition and age of our patients. We also need to ensure that they are provided with the information necessary for them to live as normal a life as possible given their condition, as well as how to get hold of us when they have concerns. In particular we have worked hard to ensure that parents feel supported and know how to get information and advice as and when needed.

“We are one of the few teams that spans both community and hospital-based care, which has been a great advantage for everyone – from the patient to our clinical teams. Another innovation is how we review all attendances at our children’s emergency department. When we find someone who has come in with a suspected seizure, we follow them up directly to see how they are. We also find that families also contact us early when they have concerns about their child, which sometimes can prevent a trip to A&E.

“The team has worked exceptionally hard to develop a specialist service for children and young people with epilepsy, with the aim of being amongst the best in the NHS. These latest audit results prove that we have gone a very long way in achieving that ambition!”