What we do
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects the brain. When someone has epilepsy it means they have a tendency to have recurring, unprovoked epileptic seizures.
Anyone can have a one-off seizure, but this doesn’t always mean they have epilepsy. At The Alex epilepsy is only diagnosed by a doctor who has a special interest and additional skills in epilepsy and its management.
The epilepsy team at The Alex look after around 400 children. There are two Paediatricians, Dr Sudarsan and Dr Jeyasingh both with a special interest in epilepsy. Dr Frances Howsam, Consultant Paediatrician also assists the epilepsy service. Jo Whittick is the Clinical Nurse specialist for children’s epilepsy.
Preparing for your appointment
Children usually attend an initial appointment where a plan and the need for further investigations will be discussed. To aid this and future appointments it is useful to bring along a diary of events/seizures, video clips on your phone and all your current epilepsy medication.
What to expect while under our care
You will be offered regular outpatient clinic appointments as well as a means to contact the team in between scheduled appointments. We encourage you to contact us should you run into difficulties between appointments.
All patients with a diagnosis of epilepsy can access the epilepsy nurse service. This is a part time service but Jo Whittick, epilepsy nurse, is flexible in her working arrangements and can help with many issues including liaison with school and nurseries and signposting them to further training, offering emergency medication training, contributing towards Educational and Health Care plans, and attending annual reviews at schools as required.
She is usually present at the outpatient clinic appointments offering support and help for children to understand their diagnosis as well as tfor important aspects such as first aid, safety in the home and out and about, driving, careers, contraception, transition and talking about their worries or concerns. She can refer onto other organisations when needed.
The following are recommended websites for further information about epilepsy:
The following links are useful for educational settings:
Clinics are held regularly at The Alex with some clinics held at Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.
The epilepsy service can only provide non-urgent assistance to patients already known to the children’s hospital. This may not be on the same working day and will be answered during normal working hours and in order of priority.
If you need more urgent assistance then please:
- Call NHS 111 who can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you are not sure what to do
- Call your GP or out of hours service
The epilepsy secretary can be contacted on: 01273 696955 ext 2318.
The epilepsy nurse can be contacted on: 01273 696955 ext 62545