Epilepsy Specialist Nurses

Question Time — Scottish Executive — Health and Wellbeing – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:15 pm on 4th December 2008.

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Photo of Cathy Peattie Cathy Peattie Labour 2:15 pm, 4th December 2008

To ask the Scottish Executive how many specialist epilepsy nurses are employed in the national health service and what action it has taken to increase this number. (S3O-5099)

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

We understand from Epilepsy Scotland that in Scotland there are 24 epilepsy specialist nurses: 11 for adults, seven for children and six for people with learning disabilities. We very much recognise the value that people with epilepsy attach to having access to an epilepsy specialist nurse and welcome the fact that the draft clinical standards on epilepsy, which were published on 24 November by NHS Quality Improvement Scotland, highlight the important role that epilepsy specialist nurses play in the provision of services.

Photo of Cathy Peattie Cathy Peattie Labour

I agree with the minister's comments on the role played by epilepsy specialist nurses in providing services. However, is she aware of and will she look into the real shortage of epilepsy specialist nurses for children?

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

As I said, NHS QIS's draft clinical standards on epilepsy will play an important role in ensuring that health boards consider the role of specialist nurses in their areas. For example, the managed clinical network approach is a good way of involving specialist nurses in the delivery of services. The draft epilepsy standards recommendation that services be organised through an MCN approach will, I am sure, be of great relevance to children's services as well as adult services.