Media Release: MSPs urged to ensure NHS implement revised guidelines for epilepsy


LEADING epilepsy charity, Epilepsy Scotland, is urging MSPs to ensure local NHS boards back the implementation of revised SIGN guidance for managing epilepsy in adults.

A SIGN guideline implementation and launch event is set for 18 June.

Epilepsy Scotland chief executive, Lesslie Young, explained: “More than two years of collaborative work by a field of experts, led by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN), has resulted in a significantly revised epilepsy guideline.

“It sets the benchmark for the highest standards of care.

“At the moment, just over half of all people with epilepsy are seizure-free but potentially seven in ten could be if they received optimum care.

“If the guideline is put into practice in each health board area, this would help to address a considerable treatment gap.

“The result is twofold; most importantly, a better quality of life for the person with epilepsy, along with a financial saving for the services involved in the care and management of that person.

“We know SIGN guidelines are not mandatory.

“However, in the same way as the Curriculum for Excellence aims to ensure that every child and young person reaches their full potential, the implementation of this revised SIGN guideline is there to ensure all adults with the very route to quick and accurate diagnosis, as well as the best treatment and management of their epilepsy.

“We are actively encouraging MSPs to make this a matter of priority with their own health boards as around 500 of their adult constituents have epilepsy.”

MSPs can take part in a cover signing of the revised SIGN guidance at a National Epilepsy Awareness week group photo on Thursday 21 following First Minister’s Questions.

This event is being held by the Epilepsy Consortium Scotland (ECS) of which Epilepsy Scotland is a member.

ECS also has a staffed exhibition stand in the Garden Lobby with information on SIGN.


Notes to the editor

  1. Epilepsy Scotland works with people living with epilepsy to ensure that their voice is heard. We campaign for improved healthcare, better information provision and an end to stigma. This common serious neurological condition affects one in 97 people. We represent the estimated 54,000 Scots with epilepsy, their families and carers. Our freephone Helpline (0808 800 2200) offers support and information, text 07786 209501, email:, find us on facebook or twitter @epilepsy_scot twitter or visit:
  2. Epilepsy Scotland took part in the SIGN review of existing epilepsy guidelines for adults.
  3. According to research, an estimated 9,750 people with epilepsy could become seizure-free if their condition was better managed. This would save the NHS around £2.36 million a year.
  4. For more details of the National Epilepsy Week Group photo, PR case studies, or the Epilepsy Consortium Scotland please call: Allana Parker, Public Affairs Officer, 07884 012 147.

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Epilepsy Scotland contact details…

Contact: Allana Parker
Phone: 07884012147