New quality standards for the epilepsies in adults, young people and children has been published by NICE

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The new quality standards on epilepsy, announced by NICE on 27 February 2013, consist of a prioritised set of specific, concise and measurable statements that, when delivered collectively, should contribute to improving the effectiveness, quality, safety and experience of care for people with the condition. 

The quality standard for the epilepsies in children and young people contains nine statements. These include:

• Children and young people presenting with a suspected seizure are seen by a specialist in the diagnosis and management of the epilepsies within two weeks of presentation.
• Children and young people with a history of prolonged or repeated seizures have an agreed written emergency care plan.

The quality standard for the epilepsies in adults also contains nine statements, including:

• Adults having initial investigations for epilepsy undergo the tests within four weeks of them being requested.
• Adults with epilepsy are seen by an epilepsy specialist nurse who they can contact between scheduled reviews.

“The nature of epilepsy means that it can be difficult to diagnose accurately. Therefore, a key part of these new quality standards is focused on improving this, and ensuring that diagnosis and treatment are confirmed and reviewed as necessary,” said Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of Health and Social Care at NICE. “I am sure these quality standards will be useful aids to all those involved in the care and treatment of this serious neurological condition.” 


Simon Wigglesworth, deputy chief executive at Epilepsy Action, said: “We are really pleased that quality standards for epilepsy have been produced. We know from a recent studywe carried out that many people with epilepsy are not getting the care they should. If the new standards are implemented consistently and effectively, care for people with epilepsy will be vastly improved.”

“Epilepsy Society welcomes these quality standards which recognise the importance of getting a correct diagnosis, optimum treatment and the role of the epilepsy specialist nurse in patient care,” said Amanda Cleaver, Communications and Campaigns manager at the Epilepsy Society.

The new quality of standard to the epilepsies in adults is available on the NICE website www.guidance.nice.org.uk/QS26

The quality of standard for children and young people is also on the NICE website www.guidance.nice.org.uk/QS27

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