Specialist epilepsy nurses are trained nurses with extra qualifications in neurology, care of a patient with epilepsy and nurse prescribing.
We provide information and advice regarding epilepsy and its management. We can advise patients, their family or carers, other health professionals or other services such as employers about how to manage individual epilepsy needs. We also provide a point of contact between the Wessex Neurological Centre and GPs and other health professionals.
We hold five outpatient clinics a week to review patients after a first seizure, adolescents, vagal nerve stimulation and those with epilepsy that is difficult to control. We offer pre-conception counselling and support clinics. Patients can also access us via phone or email.
How the specialist epilepsy nurses can help
Some of the issues we provide information or help with most often are
- understanding and coping with the diagnosis of epilepsy
- medication management and side effects
- safety and first aid
- issues for women (for example, pre-conception counselling, pregnancy)
- epilepsy surgery
- driving regulations
- social and leisure activities and travel
- national association contact details and local support groups.
Clinical assessment and monitoring
The specialist epilepsy nurses aim to assist patients with all aspects of living with epilepsy. They will discuss any information that has already been given, and review the management of epilepsy. They can also help patients manage side effects of medication and where necessary, adjust the dose. They will discuss the impact of the diagnosis and offer practical advice for managing this. They can also refer patients to other health professionals if necessary. Most importantly, they are here to listen to any questions and concerns.
Information is given on an individual basis depending on the patient’s needs. We can discuss issues face to face, over the telephone or by e-mail. We have a large amount of written information on various subjects available for people to take from the outpatients clinic. We also have trained volunteers from the epilepsy information network run by the epilepsy society.
The epilepsy nursing service also keeps a library of resources in various formats, such as leaflets, books, video tapes, audio cassettes and DVDs, on all aspects of living with epilepsy. These are available to borrow.
Education and training
The epilepsy nursing service is committed to improving and maintaining the standard of care for people with epilepsy.
We regularly run study days for patients and where relevant, we provide support and training to employers and carers who work with people with epilepsy in the community.
We maintain strong links with the national associations and regularly teach at their national conferences. We also liaise with the local support groups in our region. Find out more about these in our sources of support.