Our approach to supporting someone with epilepsy
In developing our approach to supporting people who have epilepsy, we have sought to ensure it is aligned with the principles set out in NICE clinical guidance on epilepsy. Our approach has been put together by people with epilepsy, their families, staff who support people with epilepsy and other individuals with knowledge in this area.
What does good support look like when supporting someone who has epilepsy?
- Good support empowers the person and ensures their overall well-being.
- Good support focuses on the ‘whole person’ not just a particular aspect or condition that they may have, starting with the person first.
- Good support means understanding someone’s epilepsy, which can be complex and life threatening, so it’s critical that we understand what it means to them, and how best to support them in managing their epilepsy so it has a minimal impact on their day to day life and maximises their quality of life.
Everyone we support will have an individual support plan which sets out what they want to do and the support they need. We will ensure that what someone wants to do is considered in light of their epilepsy and any barriers are worked around as much as possible.
We recognise that living with epilepsy can have a big impact on someone’s social life and we work with the person to minimise this impact e.g. understanding the implications of medication and alcohol, flexibility in terms of when to take medication, flexibility / reasonable adjustments in support provision.
We aim for everyone we support to have a Health Action Plan to ensure their health needs are appropriately recognised, treated and monitored. We will further develop our Health Action Plans to ensure they include all of the necessary information about the person and how their epilepsy impacts on them.
Support teams receive on-going training around medication and health. They understand the significance of the medication people may take and any side effects from the medication. The support team recognise and respond proactively to any changes in a person’s well-being and routines. We work together with health professionals including GPs, community nurses and neurologists to ensure the use of medication is appropriate and responsive to the person’s epilepsy whilst maintaining a balance that enables them to lead an active and fulfilled live.
Environments are crucial in maintaining good health and well-being. We match people who have shared interests and needs, and maintain the highest of living standards and will ensure people have the right aids and adaptations and assistive technology to enable them to be as independent as possible. We use assistive technology to monitor and maintain people’s well-being regarding epilepsy and to enable them to be as independent as possible.
Working in partnership with families and others
We recognise that we are only one part of the support network that surrounds an individual, and each party plays an important role in ensuring the person is empowered and has a good quality of life. We work collaboratively with others in the best interests of the individual. This means being clear in our communication, open and honest, consistent, accessible and accountable. Building strong relationships with families based on trust is key when supporting someone with epilepsy. We use tools such as the family support plan, communication plan, and decision making agreement, to ensure we understand, respect and act on what is important to and for the family.