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Children's epilepsy care across UK is 'variable'

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The standard of epilepsy care for children in the UK is 'variable' - and despite improvements in recent years, 54 per cent of children are not seeing an epilepsy specialist nurse, according to the results of the Epilepsy12 Audit, launched in September, revealed.

The results of the UK's first national audit of epilepsy care for children and young people also show 40 per cent are not seeing a paediatric neurologist when indicated and 35 per cent do not have a complete first assessment.

The information has become available as an interactive web tool, allowing units to see at a glance how they fare against key indicators and how they compare to other units.

Developed by the national Child and Maternal Health Observatory (ChiMat) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the web tools include an interactive map of the UK showing how each unit has scored against each of the 12 standard indicators; regional views to allow units to view how they are performing compared to others in their network; and a graph to show how units compare to the 'average' score for each indicator

The tool is designed to help health professionals interpret the data more easily, and is accompanied by a set of action plans and useful resources, supporting units in improving their service.

Paediatrician and project Lead for the Epilepsy12 Audit Dr Colin Dunkley, said: 'These tools will allow units to better understand how they are performing compared to best practice with the ultimate aim of raising the standards of epilepsy care for children. There's no doubt that epilepsy care in the UK is getting better but there remains too many gaps in provision. So it's important to fill these gaps, learn what's working well and reduce the variation.'

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