CLINICAL CASEBOOK - A publican worried about trembling hands
Epilepsy patients managed in primary care frequently miss out on specialist assessment and advice, new research concludes.
A GP audit found around 56 per cent of adults with epilepsy had never received specialist assessment, and a significant proportion were misdiagnosed or not treated optimally.
Study researcher Ruth Lauder, service co-ordinator for the epilepsy service in North Wales, said: ‘We've always known it's a big problem. The problem is there aren't specialist units in many areas of the country.'
Dr Henry Smithson, a GP in York and chair of the NICE epilepsy guidance group, said: ‘This reinforces the difficulties in accessing scarce neurology services in the UK. Service redesign must involve a locally developed service between primary and secondary care.'Of patients from 26 practices invited for specialist review, 41 per cent attended and just 19 per cent of these had previously seen a neurologist.