Land purchased to build Ireland’s first Epilepsy Care Clinic

epilepsy care centre architects impression

April, 2019

The Epilepsy Care Foundation has purchased land for the development of an All Ireland Epilepsy Care and Research Centre.

The Epilepsy Care Foundation has purchased land for the development of an All Ireland Epilepsy Care and Research Centre.An All-Ireland Epilepsy Centre (AIEC) is being developed and operated by the Epilepsy Care Foundation. 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.

Currently, epilepsy care, and complex epilepsy care, is delivered in Ireland 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, patients 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 unit 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. There are also two video EEG beds at Cork University Hospital, with close links to the epilepsy surgical programme at Beaumont. Despite these current invaluable resources, 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 Centre will be an All-Ireland Health Facility and thus qualifies under the terms of the North South Collaboration Agreement (“The Good Friday Agreement”).

The Centre will be located on lands procured by the Epilepsy Care Foundation between Swords and Malahide, close to the current allotments project, which provides respite and community integration, run by the Epilepsy Care Foundation. The Centre will consist of a new state of the art specially designed building to care for both in-patients and out-patients with epilepsy and related disorders, such as autism and intellectual disability). The site will also contain a long term care facility and an RCSI Epilepsy and Neurology Research Facility. Located on landscaped grounds to provide for a holistic care approach to patients and their families it will also adjoin a long-term care facility on the same site. The advantages of the site on the Malahide Road include its proximity to Beaumont Hospital, access to the road and rail network to Northern Ireland, and its closeness to Dublin Airport. It is planned that the Centre will have a link with Beaumont Hospital, and will help reduce the pressure on in-patient beds at this hospital (and other hospitals) by enhanced epilepsy services and care at the Centre.

The Centre will provide the following facilities:

  • 40 beds to be used as follows:
    • 10 full assessment beds, with the capability for continuous video EEG monitoring and other individual test facilities.
    • 10 beds for short term assessment and medication adjustment
    • 10 beds for short term respite care
    • 10 beds for assisted living for longer term care and management
  • Full test facilities such as EEG, MRI and genomic testing
  • An outpatient EEG department will include two dedicated video EEG assessment rooms, with further capability for two ambulatory video EEG units for outpatient home and residential assessment for adult and paediatric patients.
  • High resolution MRI imaging with a 3 and or 5 tesla MRI with the capability for anatomic and functional neuroimaging.
  • Outpatient and consultancy rooms, including rooms for patient and family education. Rooms for advanced nurse practitioner consultations and for neuropsychological testing, counselling and therapy.
  • An Epilepsy Foundation educational, training and development centre, including family care.
  • Conference facilities
  • A Wellness Area in a landscaped environment with rest and activity rooms.
  • The Centre will have a direct academic and teaching link with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
  • It is envisaged the centre will work in collaboration with Epilepsy Ireland in their Outreach and other programs.
  • An Epilepsy Ireland “Training for Success” course could be run at the centre modeled on that currently provided at Sligo Institute of Technology.
  • There will be close links with the magnetoencephography (MEG) imaging unit at the Magee Campus at Ulster University.
  • Genomic testing will be carried out in conjunction with current collaborators in RCSI Dublin.

This is an ambitious project, one which will benefit all epilepsy patients and their families. The procurement of the land is a major step forward towards the aims of The Epilepsy Care Foundation to provide better care for people with epilepsy. The procurement of the land has been made possible with the assistance of philanthropy. However, there is still a considerable amount of work to be done before we can finalise the building and opening of the centre which, we hope to complete within the next five years.

Similar to all projects of this nature the funding required will be quite considerable and we are asking for assistance in this through donations, philanthropy or corporate assistance. If you feel you can be of assistance please donate by going to our donations page or by contacting us through our contact form.

For ongoing information and updates on the project please visit our website or follow us on Facebook and our Twitter account @epilepsycareIRL.

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Thank you!