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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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BSMHFT supports international day for epilepsy

BSMHFT staff at the Neuropsychiatry service will be celebrating Purple day today, otherwise known as epilepsy awareness day.  Staff will be sporting purple colours and holding fundraising events including purple cake sales, raffles and other events to raise money for epilepsy.

Epilepsy sufferer Cassidy Megan created the idea of Purple Day back in 2008 with the goal of getting people to talk about epilepsy, dispel the myths and inform those with seizures that they are not alone. Since then, the campaign has spread all over the world to establish March 26 as the international day for epilepsy.  

The Neuropsychiatry team, based at the Barberry, offers assessment, diagnosis and treatment for the full range of neuropsychiatric disorders, including epilepsy.

Purple Day
Last year, the team won the Service User Involvement award at our Board Challenge ceremony for their hard work organising a walk with service users up Mount Snowdon. Joined by our Chief Executive, John Short, the team helped raise money for Epilepsy Action, the main UK epilepsy charity representing patients.

More recently, the epilepsy service celebrated acquiring government funding for a large epilepsy research trial for women with epilepsy who are pregnant. This trial has been a joint venture by the Barberry and Birmingham Women’s Hospital to provide research into the complicated area of pregnancy in women with epilepsy who need to use medication during their pregnancy and the subsequent effects this might have on both their epilepsy and the effects it may have on their children. This is the first and probably the only trial of its kind and it recognises the efforts of the Birmingham team who continually strive to improve the care in women with epilepsy in pregnancy.  

The department has also been given the go ahead to expand the current Video Telemetry Services from two beds to four, which will greatly impact on the quality of care we offer to patients as it provides gold standard investigation. This is a scant resource across the country and is crucial for patients requiring diagnosis of complex epilepsy.

The devoted staff of the epilepsy service at the Barberry hospital promise to continue to strive to improve the care of people with epilepsy and to work with the charitable organisations to raise the profile and awareness of epilepsy care. 

For more information about Purple Day 2014, visit www.purpleday.org.