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Editorials

Avoiding premature death in epilepsy

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h718 (Published 10 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h718

Re: Avoiding premature death in epilepsy

Dear Editor,

This is an important article, published at a time when neurology waiting times are long and there is pressure to discharge patients from review who are relatively stable. And this is to a community where QOF payments have been reduced so that there is a requirement only to have register of patients with epilepsy.
The NICE guidelines(CG137) recommend that adults should have a regular structured review with their GP, but depending on the person's wishes, circumstances and epilepsy, the review may be carried out by the specialist.

Neurophobia is certainly common amongst GP trainees in Northern Ireland, despite the fact that we actually see quite a lot of neurology in our day to day work. If we are to serve our patients well, and to do our part to try to reduce SUDEP in these (usually young) patients, then it is imperative that GPs are aware of the factors that contribute to premature death. This is an informative and practical article which could lead to a useful tool to assist the annual review.

1. www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg137
2. McCarron M, Stevenson M, Loftus, A and McKeown P: Neurophobia among general practice trainees: The evidence, perceived causes and solutions. Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery Vol 122; July 2014: 124-128

Yours sincerely,

Dr Louise Rusk
GP and GPwSI Headache

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 February 2015
Louise Rusk
GP
Greenway Medical Practice, Holywood Arches Health Centre, Belfast