NASH3 audit highlights care of people with epilepsy

An audit of people with epilepsy has found there still needs to be improvements to care.

The third National Audit of Seizure Management in Hospitals examined the facilities and care available to more than 4100 presentations with a seizure at 85% (137) of emergency departments in hospitals across the UK and tracked their onward treatment plans.

The recently published results from the 2020 audit highlight continued missed opportunities to improve care for people with epilepsy attending A&E.

Better epilepsy care could reduce the number of people with epilepsy who end up in A&E with suspected seizures, but there has been little improvement when compared with national data collected in 2011 and 2013.

Key findings included:

● Access to, and the coordination of, epilepsy services in the UK is inadequate.

● Half of people with known epilepsy attending the emergency department had not seen an epilepsy specialist in the previous year.

● Two-thirds may be taking inadequate epilepsy medication, indicating missed opportunities to improve treatment.

● Over a third of patients with a suspected first seizure were not being referred onwards to any neurological or specialist clinic.

Key recommendations to improve the clinical service provided to patients by the NHS include developing improved clinical pathways to join up services between neurology, emergency and primary care, ensuring primary care identifies frequent emergency department attenders and seeks advice from neurology or refers appropriately, and Increasing local neurology clinics and community services for hospitals to refer to post emergency attendance.

The full report can be found here.