David Torrance, MSP for Kirkcaldy constituency, last week met with Epilepsy Scotland in the Scottish Parliament to hear about the importance of the charity’s national helpline.
Over the last 12 months, Epilepsy Scotland’s helpline has provided information, support, and guidance to 1873 people living with epilepsy and their families.
The National helpline has noticed an increase in the number of enquiries relating to the length of waiting times across the country for appointments with Neurologists. In one case, Epilepsy Scotland was told that the next appointment available was at the end of 2023.
This highlights the need for access to Epilepsy Specialist Nurses who can usually respond within 48 hours if they receive a voicemail or email message.
Epilepsy Scotland raised this urgent issue with Mr Torrance and the need for access to Epilepsy Specialist Nurses across all health boards in Scotland.
Epilepsy Scotland and Mr Torrance also discussed the success of the charity’s recent student campaign to raise awareness of epilepsy and the services of Epilepsy Scotland among Scotland’s students, including Fife College.
A number of Colleges and Universities across Scotland supported the Scottish epilepsy charity’s campaign and are using Epilepsy Scotland’s student guide which provides information and advice about being a student with epilepsy. These include Queen Margaret University, Heriot-Watt University, and the Royal Conservatoire.
Mr Torrance was last week re-elected to a deputy convener position on the Epilepsy Cross-Party Group (CPG), which holds several meetings throughout the year allowing MSPs, stakeholder organisations, and members of the public to come together and discuss epilepsy in Scotland.
Ross Cunningham, Epilepsy Scotland’s Policy and Communications Manager, said: “We were delighted to meet with David Torrance MSP to discuss how our helpline and information service helps people living with epilepsy across Scotland and also to bring his attention the urgent need for people with epilepsy to have access to Epilepsy Specialist Nurses and Neurologists.
“We would like to congratulate David on being re-elected as deputy convener on the Epilepsy Cross-Party Group and are looking forward to working with him along with fellow MSPs and stakeholder organisations to provide a voice to the 55,000 people living with epilepsy in Scotland.”
David Torrance, MSP for Kirkcaldy, said: “I was really pleased to meet with Ross and Anna from Epilepsy Scotland to learn more about the National Epilepsy Helpline, which is open to anyone who has questions about epilepsy or needs guidance to find the right support for them.
“There are an estimated 800 people in my Kirkcaldy constituency who are living with epilepsy, so I would encourage my constituents to call this confidential helpline service if you have any specific questions about epilepsy or just need to talk – Epilepsy Scotland is there to help you.
“Epilepsy Scotland do so much to support people living with epilepsy across Scotland and I have given my commitment to continue to work closely with the charity in the coming months and years to support their vital campaign work, including through the Epilepsy Cross-Party Group, which I was delighted to be re-elected as a deputy convener last week.”
It is estimated that there are over 800 people in the Kirkcaldy constituency living with epilepsy and an estimated 4,000 across the whole of Fife.
Epilepsy Scotland’s free helpline is open on weekdays between 10am and 4.30pm on 0808 800 2200.