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Significant improvement in youth epilepsy care.

The second national audit of epilepsy care for children and young people has shown that there is significant improvement in the level of care provided to young epileptics.

Published yesterday, the audit found that not only were there more clinics available, but that there was a dramatic increase in the number of epilepsy specialist nurses (ESNs).

New data shows that 68% of units currently have an ESN. The initial audit in 2012 showed that only 46% of young epileptics had access to a nursing specialist.

Fiona Smith, the Royal College of Nursing's Professional Lead in Children and Young People's Nursing, said:

 “All children diagnosed with epilepsy should have access to a Children's Epilepsy Specialist Nurse. These audit results suggest some positive news, since they indicate that there are now more Children's Epilepsy Specialist Nurses in post. However, provision remains patchy and there are still too many areas of the country without any of these specialist nurses available. 

“Children's Epilepsy Specialist Nurses are key to providing the best possible care to children with the condition. These specialist nurses bring the required skills and knowledge to care planning, patient participation, liaison with school and respite care, and rescue medication training. 

“Without these nurses, children with epilepsy are not receiving essential care so those services that still don't have a specialist nurse in place must make urgent efforts to redress the situation.”

This year's audit also highlights the important role played by ESNs in helping young patients and their families and recommends that the 60 units that currently do not have an ESN create a post.