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Bridlington epilepsy service goes from strength to strength

A service in Bridlington for people with epilepsy has been so successful that sessions have increased from one clinic a month to two a week in just two years.

The service, run by York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, provides specialist advice and support at clinics along the East coast.

Epilepsy Advanced Nurse Specialist Paul Turner is based at Scarborough Hospital and runs clinics in Scarborough, Bridlington and Whitby for patients who are referred from their GP. His role is to support adults with a diagnosis of epilepsy and liaise with the GP and hospital neurologist.

Paul explained: “Epilepsy affects more than 500,000 people in the UK which means that almost one in every 100 people has the condition. It affects the brain and causes repeated seizures which can cause the brain and body to behave strangely.

“People can start having seizures at any time, often there is no obvious cause. This becomes more likely as we grow older but the good news is that we can usually control seizures with medication. 

“The condition can affect anyone whatever their age and background, it can be something people are born with or has come on as a result of stroke or a learning disability.”

Paul offers advice on diagnosis, medication, safety, driving, and care throughout pregnancy. He can also see people in their homes where clinic attendance may be difficult.

Paul added: “It’s very rewarding when patients see how much can be done to improve or stabilise their condition. The clinics offer individuals the opportunity for specialist advice and care and the service is very popular with local GPs. During the past two years I have seen about 300 patients but receive new referrals and discharge patients back to the care of their GP on a regular basis.” 

Bridlington GP Dr Carolien Lino has been referring patients with epilepsy since the service began. 

Dr Lino said: “The epilepsy nursing service provides fantastic support for patients. It means that people have extra time to discuss their condition in detail and receive expert advice. This helps them stay in control so they are much more able to manage their own condition.”

The clinics in Bridlington and Scarborough are now full and, as well as two clinics a week at Bridlington Hospital, Paul will soon be running an extra clinic in Scarborough.

To find out more about the epilepsy nursing service email Paul Turner on pturner4@nhs.net or contact him on 01723 236256. 

09 June 2015

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