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Epilepsy

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps his Department is taking to reduce the level of stigma experienced by people with epilepsy; (153654)

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the implementation of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's guidance on the treatment of prisoners diagnosed with epilepsy;

(3) what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of information provided to patients upon diagnosis of epilepsy on the risks of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.

The Department is working to reduce the level of stigma experienced by those with epilepsy by raising awareness of this condition among the public. Information on epilepsy is made available on the NHS Direct website at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk as well as the Epilepsy Information Network.

We commissioned the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to produce clinical guidelines for the diagnosis, management and treatment of epilepsy. This guidance, published in October 2004, specifically covers the importance of informing patients and their families of the risks of sudden death in epilepsy. In addition, we have made a grant of almost £290,000 to the National Society for Epilepsy to improve support and information for people with epilepsy and their families through their Epilepsy Information Network.

We have made no assessment of the implementation of the guidance produced by NICE on the treatment of prisoners diagnosed with epilepsy.