HL Deb 24 September 2002 vol 638 c233WA
Baroness Gould of Potternewton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Home office is being consulted on the action plan to address the finding of the national audit of epilepsy-related death that only 13 per cent of port-mortem investigations were adequate; and [HL5508]

What plans they have to implement an action plan to address epilepsy-related death; and [HL5509]

What plans are in place to ensure that Primary Care Trusts will act following the National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommendation in its summary report of the national audit of epilepsy-related death that local National Health Service clinicians and organisations should establish or review policies of practices regarding the management of epilepsy. [HL5510]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

Following publication of theNational Sentinel Audit of Epilepsy-Related Death in May we are now considering in full the recommendations of the audit including the issues raised by my noble friend. We expect to develop an action plan later this year to address the key issues, and will consult with interested parties as appropriate. It will need to take account of and feed into a range of other initiatives, including the National Service Framework for Long Term Conditions (NSF), which will have a focus on neurological conditions such as epilepsy.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) published a summary report of the audit. The publication draws the attention of local NHS clinicians and organisations to the need to establish or review policies and practices regarding the management of epilepsy related deaths.

The department is also undertaking a range of other initiatives to improve services for the care and management of people with epilepsy, including asking NICE to develop a clinical guideline (due in summer 2004) for the diagnosis, management and treatment of epilepsy to help address widespread variations in clinical practice and contribute to the improvement of services.