The Ministry of Health has established an Epilepsy Technical Advisory Group to lead the development of a national service improvement model for people with epilepsy.
About the Epilepsy Technical Advisory Group (TAG)
The Epilepsy Technical Advisory Group (TAG) takes a multi-disciplinary approach to co-design services for people with epilepsy.
The Group was initially established in 2012 to undertake a review of ‘complex epilepsy services’, and defined priorities for a service improvement programme.
In 2016 the Group membership increased to provide broader input into the work programme to define a service model and service improvement plan for people living with epilepsy.
The TAG now comprises about 17 key stakeholders, including clinical and managerial leaders from a range of DHBs with epilepsy services, and also relevant consumer and NGO representation.
The TAG is chaired by Dr Suzanne Davis, a paediatric neurologist from Auckland.
Terms of reference
The TAG was established to provide the specific knowledge and expertise to inform and guide the information and processes necessary to complete a national service improvement project for people with complex drug-resistant epilepsy.
The main objectives of the Epilepsy TAG work programme are to support a national service improvement approach for people with epilepsy, through the development of a service model that will:
- be patient and family/whānau centred to ensure that the needs, preferences and outcomes relevant to individuals and their families are reflected
- integrate care across community and hospital services to enhance the potential for improved equity and clinical outcomes.
- describe New Zealand appropriate guidelines or pathways for the effective management of people with complex epilepsy:
- across the continuum of care, including an outpatient model of care
- focus on early diagnosis and appropriate referral for specialist care
- support long-term condition management in the community, including regular review of medication
- recommend the optimal referral for and provision of specialist interventions such as neurosurgery, pharmaceutical trials and diet therapies for that group of people who continue to have seizures despite treatment with anti-epilepsy drugs.
The expected outcome is that development of this service model will provide:
- improved access to quality clinical care and expertise for patients and their families/whānau
- improved access to specialist advice, consultation and liaison for primary and secondary care health professionals
- improved cost effectiveness and more appropriate allocation of resource
- improved patient outcomes through self-management of their condition, increased independence and reduced complications and co-morbidities.
Guidelines and pathways
The following guidelines and pathways are available on the Paediatric Neurology Clinical Network website.
Papers and reports
The following papers have been endorsed by the Advisory Group.
Paediatric Neurology Clinical Network
The Paediatric Neurology Clinical Network supports multidisciplinary teams to deliver best practice care in the treatment of children with neurological conditions, including epilepsy, throughout New Zealand.
Starship Child Health is a dedicated paediatric health care service and major teaching centre, providing family/whānau centred care to children and young people throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific. Information is provided for patients, family/whānau, and visitors, as well as health professionals.