Helping epilepsy sufferers get equal access to care

Pictured is Nigel Don, MSP, showing his support for National Epilepsy Week, which has the theme of the 'many faces of epilepsy'.

Pictured is Nigel Don, MSP, showing his support for National Epilepsy Week, which has the theme of the 'many faces of epilepsy'.

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Angus and Mearns MSP, Nigel Don, was one of 31 SNP MSPs who have signed the Epilepsy Consortium Scotland’s pledge for equal access to care.

Across Scotland around 54,000 people live with epilepsy, with around 700 people in each of the MSP’s constituents having or will develop epilepsy - so it is important to ensure that when people need to access epilepsy care there is parity in what’s available to them.

Prominent supporters of the pledge include the cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing Alex Neil and public health minister Michael Matheson.

Epilepsy Consortium Scotland (ECS) chair, Allana Parker, was encouraged that so many MSPs, including those on the cross-party group on epilepsy, headed by convener Kenneth Gibson, came by the ECS exhibition at the 2013 SNP conference to find out more about patchy services in parts of Scotland.

Allana said: “Eight people are newly diagnosed with epilepsy each and every day.

“For some, access to specialist clinicians and nurses is still a geographical lottery.

“This is why our members are currently mapping epilepsy services run by health, education, social care providers, and the third sector.

“Details of postcode gaps will be passed to the Scottish Government and joint working agencies so that we can assist them to redress this situation.”

Nigel Don MSP, who has also pledged his support for epilepsy earlier in the year, said: “Epilepsy is still the most common, serious neurological condition in the world but it impacts each person’s life in a unique and individual way.

“Epilepsy affects men, women and children of all ages from every ethnic group and social status. The outlook is brighter for the half whose seizures are well managed with medication.”

For more information visit www.epilepsyconsortiumscotland.co.uk.