NHS Scotland’s epilepsy services leading the rest of the UK


A UK-wide epilepsy report has found epilepsy services in Scotland are improving and even outperforming the rest of the UK.


The report, produced by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), reveals that Scottish NHS boards have improved upon the findings of the last report in 2012 with better overall health care.


Other findings show that Scotland maintained and in many instances advanced its ratings in all performance indicators including diagnosis and classification.


Authors of the Epilepsy12 Audit report, with input from patient organisations including Epilepsy Scotland, made 20 key recommendations.


The Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh
The Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh


One of the recommendations was that all services managing children and young people with epilepsy should have at least one consultant paediatrician properly trained in epilepsy.


A second recommendation was new ESN posts should be urgently created to provide essential care.


Another of the key recommendations was that children with more complex epilepsy need better access to a paediatric neurologist.


Commenting on the Round 2 report, Epilepsy Scotland’s chief executive, Lesslie Young, said: “It is encouraging to note Scotland’s strong performance against national SIGN guidelines for epilepsy.


“Scottish health boards are to be applauded for acting on the first benchmarking UK report two years ago and making further improvements in local epilepsy care.


“The expectation behind the audit is that after making improvements all epilepsy units should be aiming to approach 100 per cent for all 12 indicators.


“But, also says the report, over one in five children (22 per cent) in Scottish units are not being referred to specialist tertiary care within a year of diagnosis while, over the same period, more than a third (38 per cent) of children with convulsive seizures did not receive an ECG test.


“We believe scores of children newly diagnosed with epilepsy can benefit from even higher uniform standards.


“We will continue to campaign for ESN posts in every health board and we call on MSPs and the Scottish Government to remedy this unfair gap in services ensuring equal access to epilepsy care wherever you happen to live.”


According to the report there are currently around 700 newly-diagnosed cases of epilepsy each year in Scotland.


The full report is available to read on the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health website.