Ten minutes to change the lives of 500,000 with epilepsy
Tweet from 10.10 tomorrow for epilepsy’s Ten Minute Rule Bill
MPs from across the UK are being urged to change the lives of people with epilepsy by supporting a Ten Minute Rule Bill in Parliament tomorrow (Wednesday 24 November 2010).
The Epilepsy Bill would require the health and education departments at Westminster and in the Welsh Assembly Government to develop and implement an Epilepsy Strategy to provide:
- improved epilepsy diagnosis
- specialist training for professionals who provide health and social services support for people with epilepsy
- appropriate special educational needs support for schoolchildren with epilepsy
Currently, most health trusts do not follow the NICE guidelines which set out best standards of care for people with epilepsy, and children with the condition are often left floundering at school because of poor support from Local Education Authorities and schools themselves.
Sharon Wood, Chief Executive of the Joint Epilepsy Council of 24 epilepsy charities, said:
Epilepsy care for the 500,000 people across the UK with the condition is patchy, wasting £220 million a year and failing to prevent 400 avoidable epilepsy deaths annually. This Bill could change all that in England if the Government would give it Parliamentary time – better epilepsy care would also bring thousands more into jobs and boost the education of young people.
We would also want to see similar legislation for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Valerie Vaz MP is putting forward Bill the in the House of Commons at 12.30PM on the day. She said:
I am sorry to report that our NHS by and large fails many people living with epilepsy in the UK. Britain leads the world in epilepsy research but unfortunately we are lagging well behind in practice. This Bill requires the Government to co-ordinate a strategy covering health and education to improve access to specialist tertiary services and specialist epilepsy nurses and to make sure that affected children, teachers, and families are supported from an early age through the education system. The reforms proposed by the Health White Paper are not enough.
The Bill will be preceded in the morning by a Twitter campaign from some of the JEC’s member charities, who will tweet the Bill’s details and facts about epilepsy every 10 minutes from 10.10-11AM.
For more information about epilepsy and links to UK epilepsy charities, go to www.jointepilepsycouncil.org.uk.