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Better access to epilepsy specialist nurses since 2012

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More children have access to epilepsy specialist More children have access to epilepsy specialist nurses

There have been significant improvements in access for children's specialist epilepsy nurses, reasearch from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has found.

In round two of the national audit of epilepsy care for children and young people more than two thirds of units (paediatric epilepsy services across hospitals and the community) reported having a local children's epilepsy specialist nurse (ESN), in comparison to just over half in the first audit in 2012.

Fiona Smith, RCN professional lead in children and young people's nursing, said: 'All children diagnosed with epilepsy should have access to a children's epilepsy specialist nurse. These audit results suggest some positive news, since they indicate that there are now more children's epilepsy specialist nurses in post.

'However, provision remains patchy and there are still too many areas of the country without any of these specialist nurses available.

'Children's epilepsy specialist nurses are key to providing the best possible care to children with the condition. These specialist nurses bring the required skills and knowledge to care planning, patient participation, liaison with school and respite care, and rescue medication training.'

The report recommends that the 60 units without ESNs should ugently create new posts.

There has also been an increase in the number of epilepsy clinics, with 66 per cent of trusts reporting the availability of a weekly clinic, compared with 58 per cent in the previous audit.

The audit was carried out by Epilepsy12, a group of clinicians from leading epilepsy charities.

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