Caring for homeless epilepsy patients

Community nurses encouraged to follow Queen's Nursing Institute guidelines

New guidance for community nurses caring for homeless people with epilepsy has been launched by The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI).

The guidelines were created in response to evidence that people who are homeless are at much greater risk of having or developing epilepsy.

Epilepsy rates are eight times higher in the homeless population than they are in the general population, with 8% of homeless people having active epilepsy, according to a study published in the European Journal of Public Health.

Specific needs

The QNI's Working with Epilepsy and Homelessness: Guidance for Community Nurses covers the specific risks and needs of people who are homeless, and gives advice to nurses on how support patients with epilepsy and coordinate their care. 

The 12-page document includes information about the causes of epilepsy, different seizure types, essential first aid, treatment, and the practicalities of living with epilepsy when homeless.

QNI homeless health project manager David Parker-Radford said: 'Epilepsy diagnosis and ongoing treatment can be complex and require multiple health appointments and tests.

Right to excellent care

'This means it is even more vital that epilepsy services find proactive ways to reach vulnerable high-risk people, including those who may not be registered with a GP. All people living with epilepsy have the right to excellent care and treatment – not only those with stable support and housing.'

Click here for guidance on working with epilepsy and homelessness


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