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New toolkit to help provide better health services for people with epilepsy

Posted in Neurology News on 13th Nov 2015

Two leading epilepsy charities have joined forces and created a web-based toolkit for commissioners which will provide all the information required to ensure high quality services for the 500,000 people living with epilepsy in England.

Epilepsy Action and Epilepsy Society identified the need for the commissioning tool after a survey of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in 2014 identified gaps in planning. Epilepsy Action contacted 211 clinical commissioning groups. 204 responded and of these 78% stated that they had not produced, and had no plans to develop a written needs assessment of the health and social care needs for people with epilepsy.

The two charities therefore decided to develop the web-based hub, the ‘Epilepsy Commissioning Toolkit’. It has been developed and tested with the support of a group of nine CCGs who have a range of experience in commissioning epilepsy services.

The project has gained RCGP and the Association of British Neurologists endorsement and is going through the NICE endorsement process and is being championed by NHS England National Clinical Director for Adult Neurological Conditions, Dr David Bateman.

Full-PDF-ACNR-ND15-26The toolkit has been organised into nine sections giving practical examples based on experience such as calculating local populations of people living with epilepsy, reading examples of service models, creating business cases and more.

A key area will be Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data from the Public Health England Neurology Intelligence Network including numbers of unplanned admissions for epilepsy, neurology outpatient usage and benchmarking with other CCGs.

Epilepsy Society’s Juliet Ashton, the first national nurse consultant for epilepsy and part of the development group, said: “For the last 18 months, I have been working closely with CCGs across the country reviewing services for people living with epilepsy and, working alongside Peri O’Connor from Epilepsy Action, we’ve carried out rigorous testing of the Epilepsy Commissioning Toolkit to ensure the content is fit for purpose.”

Dr David Bateman said: “This is an excellent example of how the voluntary sector and commissioners can work together to benefit patients. Epilepsy is a common condition but is often difficult to treat and without the correct care pathways can be an economic burden to the NHS. There are many forms of information, tools and data which exist for epilepsy, however these can be a challenge to find and require some knowledge of what is available. This project has pulled together information and templates to develop best value services to support adults and children with epilepsy.”

ACNR 2015;15(5):26.  Online 13/11/2015

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