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Digital support for young patients with epilepsy in Nottinghamshire

Today marks International Epilepsy Day across the world! Recent developments in digital health and technology are benefitting children with epilepsy under the care of Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, utilising the NHS App and Patients Know Best.

In December 2021, the Paediatric Epilepsy team at the Trust worked with Digital Notts to launch digital care plans for children which are uploaded and accessed into the NHS App. This development has ensured that families are kept informed of changes to any care plans through notifications to their phones, and communication is faster and more efficient than through traditionally posted letters.

The digital switch-on has also allowed two-way communication through direct messaging between clinician, ensuring that information can be provided quickly and any queries from families can be instantly directed to professionals looking after their children.

Dr Colin Dunkley, Consultant Paediatrician at Sherwood Forest Hospitals said, “It is vital that children and their families with epilepsy feel connected to their health teams. The ability to contact and gather ongoing information are key to the ongoing care of these young people, and the initial feedback from all parties is very positive.”

Kirsten Johnson, Epilepsy Nurse Specialist added, “The importance of enabling families and young people to contact their epilepsy team between appointments cannot be understated. It improves health outcomes, health literacy, education and social inclusion for the children and young people. It is vital in ensuring patient and family satisfaction.”

Currently 13 families have taken advantage of this extended connectivity with the team at Sherwood Forest Hospitals, with further developments in the pipeline including:

  • sending treatment care plans directly to the patients/carers
  • promoting the use of a seizure diary
  • sending electronic letters (appointments/referrals) automatically via Patients Know Best.

International Epilepsy Day (14 February 2022) is a global event celebrated annually on the 2nd Monday of February, to promote awareness on epilepsy right around the world. This joint initiative was created by the International Bureau for Epilepsy and the International League Against Epilepsy.

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