The All-Ireland Epilepsy Centre aims to provide expert integrated diagnostic and comprehensive treatment services for individuals and families with epilepsy and associated conditions in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and it will serve as a care and educational resource for all individuals affected by or caring for those with epilepsy on the whole island.
Currently epilepsy care, and complex epilepsy care, is delivered in a somewhat haphazard fashion, and is shared between primary care (general practice), secondary care (hospitals without specific epileptology expertise), and tertiary care (hospitals with specific neurology and epileptology expertise).
In addition, patient with learning disability and autism associated with epilepsy are cared for in a variety of community and institutional settings, often without specific robust epilepsy expertise input.
The national epilepsy surgery programme is based at the Epilepsy Programme and Department of Neurosurgery at Beaumont Hospital. It has four video EEG monitoring beds and struggles to meet demands for its service. Therefore, there remains a significant unmet need in the care of individuals with epilepsy and related conditions (and their families) on the island of Ireland.
The All-Ireland Epilepsy Centre (AIEC) is being developed and operated by the Epilepsy Care Foundation, a not-for-profit registered charity (registered number 18588). The purpose of the Centre is to provide assessment, care, respite and education / training for individuals with epilepsy and related disorders, and for family and carers, on the whole island of Ireland, both in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It will be open to public and private patients. Initially the centre will cater for adults; however it is envisaged that it will include paediatric care in the future.
To date the project has been supported by a number of private philanthropists who have been instrumental in providing funds for securing the land and other costs.
We still have a long way to go……