New guidelines for epilepsy care in the community

New guidelines for professional carers administering buccal (ormomucosal) midazolam for epilepsy patients in the community have been published by the Epilepsy Nurses Association (ESNA), replacing the Joint Epilepsy Council (JEC) guidelines.

The guidelines support best practice when training carers who are overseeing the use of buccal midazolam. To support the implementation of the guidelines an online assessment tool has been created to ensure to best practice is maintained in social care organisations when administering buccal midazolam.

ESNA’s latest guidelines have been produced alongside the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych). Phil Tittensor, Consultant Nurse for the Epilepsies based at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said that one in every 103 people is affected by epilepsy in the UK, a prevalence that is expected to rise.

Along with concerns over incorrectly administered medication such as buccal midazolam, the need to keep staff from healthcare assistants to support workers up to date with best practice is essential.

“Management is absolutely key – not only in healthcare professionals but in non-professional carers who may be found working in social settings, residential homes and

working with those experiencing learning difficulties,” he explained.

Mr Tittensor went on to note that the new guidelines were intended to both address individual training needs for the safe administration of buccal midazolam and be used by employers to benchmark their services.

He added: “These resources ensure everyone in the country who is caring for and working with people who experience seizures and epilepsy has the same basic required standard of knowledge. We’re urging anyone running, managing or supervising people in this setting to download the guidelines and make this easy-to-use assessment tool available to staff.”

The ESNA best practice guidelines for training professional carers in the administration of buccal midazolam can be accessed via the Virtual College website www.virtual-college.co.uk/epilepsy.

For more information about the new guidelines and online assessment tool, please contact ESNAepilepsynursesassociation@outlook.com

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