Train nurses to tackle emergency admissions of epilepsy patients, says national report

NHS Atlas of Variation report says training of specialist nurse practitioners in epilepsy would help to tackle nationwide variation in the number of people with the condition being admitted to hospital as emergencies 

Local health service providers should be establishing and training specialist nurse practitioners in epilepsy to tackle the nationwide variation in the number of adults with the condition being admitted to hospital as emergencies. 

The annual NHS Atlas of Variation, which compares more than 100 different areas of care provided by 211 clinical commissioning groups across England, found a five-fold variation in the rate of emergency admissions to hospital for adults with epilepsy.

The report said health providers should link specialist ep8ilepsy nurses to the local epilepsy service, and that nurses should be able to provide guidance and support in hospitals and community settings. 

The NHS Atlas of Variation also found that older people in some parts of England are nine times more likely to be admitted to hospital as an emergency compared with other parts of the country. 

The report published by NHS England and Public Health England also found georgaphical disparities in stroke care.  The proportion of people admitted to a stroke unit within four hours of arriving at hospital ranged from just 22% in some areas to 85% in others,  

It suggested the discrepancies in emergency admissions to stroke units could be down to the capacity of different units and the availability of beds, also stating that ‘mortality rates after stroke have been found to be higher if there are fewer trained nurses working on stroke units at weekends’.

NHS England's national medical director Sir Bruce Keogh said: ‘This atlas exposes some inconvenient truths about the extent of clinical practice variation in care for some common conditions. 

‘The good news is that at a time of financial pressure across the health service, hospitals, GPs and mental health providers have substantial opportunities to unleash greater value from their existing NHS budgets.’

Read the full report here


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