This service comes under the Regional Neuropsychology Service. It provides input for individuals with non-epileptic seizures (NEADS) in the SBUHB and Bridgend areas. In some cases patients have both NEADS and epilepsy. The service currently has funding for a part-time (2 days) practitioner psychologist and a clinical nurse specialist working in the Epilepsy Service for one half day a week. This presents significant challenges in terms of meeting the complex needs of this patient group. Only a very limited number of sessions can be provided for assessment and advice (maximum 3-4). The service is being re-designed due to high demand. At present there is a waiting time of over two years (contact the Regional Neuropsychology Service Co-ordinator on 01792 703516 for further information).
Common conditions that co-occur alongside NEADs include: long-standing severe mental health problems including anxiety, depression, psychosis and personality difficulties (engagement difficulties, self-harm, suicide). Additionally, the significant majority of clients have a history of complex trauma including sexual abuse and relational/attachment difficulties. Furthermore, as well as their immediate clinical needs, patients commonly present with a wide range of other difficulties which serve to maintain their challenges. These often include: employment, finance and benefit issues, driving, social isolation, relationships and complex family dynamics. Each patient therefore typically requires co-ordinated, multi-agency management to ensure their needs are met consistently, although the service is not currently able to deliver this.
To develop a specialist Regional Functional Neurological Service which includes NEADS. The service model adopted would be an integrated stepped care multi-disciplinary approach aimed at enabling individuals to understand their symptoms and learn to self-manage from the point of diagnosis onwards. The earlier the intervention the better the outcome.