Page last updated at 23:27 GMT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 00:27 UK

Concern at epilepsy nurse numbers

Human brain
Seizures are caused by bursts of electrical activity in the brain

Scotland has too few specialist epilepsy nurses, according to a charity which campaigns for the 40,000 people affected by the condition.

Epilepsy Scotland has called on the Scottish Government and 14 health boards to provide better epilepsy care.

The charity said at the moment no health boards were meeting recommended targets for specialist nurses.

It said some patients had to travel to another health board to access the service.

'Tremendous job'

Epilepsy Scotland chief executive Susan Douglas-Scott said: "Managing epilepsy is hard work and yet Scotland has just 24 nurses who specialise in caring for people with epilepsy.

"These nurses do a tremendous job by supporting families at vulnerable times in their lives. People have patiently waited but still no health board yet meets recommended targets for specialist nurses."

Specialist nurses are senior nurses who provide a wide range of services including epilepsy management and treatment, pre-conception planning and training for GPs.

The Joint Epilepsy Council for the UK and Ireland (JEC) has recommended one nurse per 100,000 of the population.

Scotland would need almost three times more specialist nurses to meet that target.




SEE ALSO
Epilepsy rates' deprivation link
24 Sep 03 |  Scotland

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