National Epilepsy Week shines a light on Scots living with condition 

Left to Right: Alasdair Allan, Prof Ian Bone and Dr Ron Culley.

DURING National Epilepsy Week (23 – 29 May 2022), leading health and social care charity Quarriers is helping to raise awareness about the neurological condition that affects more than 54,000 people in Scotland.

A special event was held on Friday 20th May at the William Quarrier Scottish Epilepsy Centre, a specialist hospital set up in 2013 by Quarriers, in partnership with NHS Scotland, that supports thousands of people requiring specialist diagnosis.

It remains the country’s only specialist hospital for people with epilepsy and they’re about to launch a new fundraising bid to ensure that the medical technology they use remains cutting edge and provides an unparalleled patient experience.   

The event helped shine a light on epilepsy through a programme of talks about the importance of social support and the role of the hospital in providing specialist diagnosis to patients referred by the NHS. 

Patient Participation Coordinator Sharon Thompson shared her experience of epilepsy and how this benefits her role in making sure that patients get the most out of their assessment time at the hospital.

Dr Iain Campbell, Principal Clinical Psychologist, introduced the newly-established Lifestyle Management project, designed to address the non-medical aspects of living with epilepsy.

Dr Ron Culley, CEO at Quarriers, was joined by MSP Alasdair Allan to discuss the role of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Working Group which seeks to ensure issues affecting people with epilepsy are highlighted at a national level. 

Panellists from organisations including Epilepsy Connections, Lanarkshire Epilepsy and Quarriers also took to the stage to discuss the value of joined-up outreach services in Scotland, and how these offer a lifeline to those living with the condition as well as their families – despite funding challenges and a postcode lottery across Scotland.

Those attending the event heard about the development of a new national collaborative, which will involve work by third sector providers and the NHS to tackle this postcode lottery and deliver more integrated care for people with epilepsy. 

The event culminated in the official launch of Sacred Lives, a book for the general reader about how epilepsy has been perceived and understood across time, authored by renowned neurologist and researcher, Professor Ian Bone.

Sacred Lives is written for people with epilepsy, their families and anyone who wishes to understand more about the condition. The event provided an ideal platform for Professor Bone to offer a personal insight into his mission and dedication to understanding more about the complex neurological condition.

Dr Ron Culley, CEO at Quarriers, said: “Year-round, our expert team at The William Quarrier Scottish Epilepsy Centre provides a bespoke service to patients and their families. I am incredibly proud that we can offer such a specialist resource to people living with epilepsy, and we are consistently looking at ways to evolve how and what we offer, as we can see the benefit it has on people’s health and wellbeing.”  

“Our recent event provided the perfect platform to engage with partners, patients and of course the fascinating Professor Ian Bone whose critically acclaimed research has made a significant impact on our understanding of epilepsy and its treatment. It was a privilege to officially launch Sacred Lives which includes both a personal and medical perspective of living with epilepsy, and I’m confident the book will go on to be another of his great successes.”

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