Nurses to boost epilepsy care at Ipswich Hospital

The Ipswich Hospital epilepsy nurse team (l to r) Naomi Baxter, Marianne Peachey and Wendy Burton.

The Ipswich Hospital epilepsy nurse team (l to r) Naomi Baxter, Marianne Peachey and Wendy Burton. - Credit: Archant

Two new specialist nurses have been recruited by Ipswich Hospital to help patients get faster access to epilepsy care.

A new full-time role has been created to assist existing nurse specialist Marianne Peachey and will be shared between the new recruits.

As a result new patients will be able to get an appointment with a member of the team within four weeks of their diagnosis.

Wendy Burton and Naomi Baxter will job-share the position, allowing four epilepsy outpatient clinics to be run each week, twice as many as currently.

This includes evening clinics for the convenience of people who work during the day.

Another change will see the team’s patient helpline, previously a three-day-a-week operation, increased to a five day service.

Ms Peachey has been working as an epilepsy nurse at the hospital for 15 years.

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Talking about the new appointments she said: “The number of neurology patients has been going up and up over the past few years, and that’s certainly true of our epilepsy referrals.

“It has been an exciting time with the new epilepsy nurses starting and we have spent the last few months trying to improve services.

“We now have an email address alongside the helpline to enable us to communicate with patients efficiently; particularly patients who work.”

Ms Burton said: “As well as running the clinics and helpline, our core work is to regularly review pregnant women, support patients while in hospital and train carers.

“We supervise medication changes and offer lifestyle advice on issues such as alcohol, stress and sleep which can have a real impact on patients’ quality of life.”

Ms Baxter added: “It’s so rewarding to see patients take control of their epilepsy and to be able to carry on with their lives.”