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Do you have epilepsy or support someone who does?

Epilepsy first-aid training to reduce A&E visits

The University of Liverpool is developing a first-aid training programme for people with epilepsy to support them when they have a seizure and to avoid unnecessary visits to A&E. 

Training programme 

Researchers from the University’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society will develop and assess a training programme for people with epilepsy and their friends and family members to increase their knowledge of the condition, and to give them more confidence to manage seizures.

They are looking for volunteers to go along to one of the practice courses they will run in November. The course lasts about 3 hours and people can bring a friend or relative with them. After taking the course, participants will be asked what they thought of it. 

Everyone who volunteers will receive a £10 shopping voucher to thank them for their time and effort and, if needed, travel expenses. The study is not for everyone.

To take part, patients need to have had epilepsy for one or more years, be prescribed anti-epileptic drugs, be aged 16 or over and have visited a hospital A&E department at some point in the last few years for epilepsy. You will also need to live in the North-West as the courses will be run in Liverpool.

If you would like to take part, or have any questions, you can get in touch with the research team by phone: 0151 794 5993 

e-mail: seizure.firstaid.project@liv.ac.uk


Their Seizure first Aid training for Epilepsy (SAFE) will be based on a course run by the Epilepsy Society. It will involve small groups of patients and their family and friends being given the latest information and knowledge about seizures and how best to deal with them.

The training course will be piloted with people with epilepsy who have attended Merseyside A&E departments. The results of the trial will be analysed to see if the training helps patients feel more confident to manage seizures and not visit A&E when it is not required.

Gaining confidence

Dr Adam Noble, from the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, who is leading the project, said: “We are developing this training course because people with epilepsy who visit A&E and their family and friends have told us that they do not feel they have sufficient information, or are confident enough,  about what to do when a seizure occurs, and at what point they need to go to A&E this is something they want. 

“This training course has been specifically designed to empower them and provide more confidence to handle seizures.

“This sort of course is not available through the NHS, but the purpose of this project is to find out the impact and effect this will have on patients, and on preventing unnecessary visits to already over-stretched A&E departments.”

The three-year project is supported by the National Institute of Health Research and involves the University of Sheffield, Bangor University and King’s College London.