About us

The RCPCH Epilepsy Quality Improvement Programme (EQIP) is a bespoke training programme that supports paediatric epilepsy service teams to identify sustainable improvements within their services to improve upon the care provided for children and young people with epilepsy.

Background

The Epilepsy Quality Improvement Programme is an NHS England funded project, commissioned by the HQIP and run by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health who also manages the national clinical audit Epilepsy12. Despite progress shown in the Epilepsy12 audit data, the provision and quality of specialist epilepsy care continues to vary between Health Boards or Trusts in England and Wales, particularly around adequate staffing and timely delivery of care processes. Given the complexity of the epilepsy spectrum of conditions, quality care requires holistic support, including mental health, educational and community awareness support.

Consequently, improvement in care cannot be confined to just clinical processes, but also include other parts of the health service, schools, charity and community organisations. It requires a patient-centred approach, involving co-design and shared ownership of the care experience and outcome between service providers and patients and their families.

One of the activities of the audit was to set up a support system for QI activities to be undertaken by epilepsy services in the 16 regions of the Organisation of Paediatric Epilepsy Networks (OPEN UK). Given this aim, and in the wider context of the priorities set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, Epilepsy12 project and OPEN UK networks worked in collaboration to set up a Quality Improvement project supporting epilepsy services and utilising the epilepsy regional network structure.

RCPCH EQIP pilot

On 17 June 2019 we launched the first paediatric epilepsy QI collaborative pilot in England and Wales. The RCPCH EQIP has supported paediatric epilepsy service teams to identify sustainable improvements within their services for children and young people with epilepsy. Our pilot provided 12 paediatric epilepsy teams with practical training and support, and helped them uncover the gaps in service provision and develop interventions that meet their specific needs. The projects the 12 teams designed included activity to:

  • improve planning and handover for transition to adult services;
  • signpost and design new patient information packs for patients/their families;
  • increase the patient-voice and improve patient experience;
  • developing an integrated care pathway and increasing specialist input;
  • improving quality of EEG recordings;
  • reduce wait times in clinics and for routine investigations;
  • introduce telephone triage to support newly referred patients;
  • improve emergency access to health care plans via the patient electronic record.

Find out more about the first EQIP pioneers. 

Project scope

In September 2018, the RCPCH Epilepsy12 project team and RCPCH Quality Improvement team, in collaboration with OPEN UK, recruited a group of specialist epilepsy nurses representing the OPEN UK regions, to act as advisors in the development of a QI project supporting the results of the Epilepsy12 audit. As a first step in the scoping phase, the group has informed the development of a survey to be conducted with epilepsy services, with a view to identifying high performing services and key processes involved in service delivery. As a result, including further desktop research and existing QI programme run by the College, the RCPCH EQIP was borne, offering free of charge QI training to initially 12 successful teams selected from across the country. The training programme aimed to support paediatric epilepsy teams to work together in defining their shared aim, identifying current gaps in service provision and developing practical interventions matching their capacity and resources.

A training facilitator is sourced externally to co-design (with the project team) and co-deliver trainings and web/telephone support meetings with the teams. The training content is built on the experience of a similar project in paediatric diabetes and adapted to the specific needs of epilepsy services identified within the planning and development processes of the programme.

Programme vision

Epilepsy services are equitable and underpinned by the principles of continuous improvement for all children and young people regardless of background, material status and location. Epilepsy services are recognised as a high priority area within the government health agenda and the health service on the national through to local levels. Child health practitioners, who specialise in epilepsy, are recognised, supported and empowered to work across geographic and service boundaries, including transition between paediatric and adult service provision. Children and young people with epilepsy enjoy clear access to the treatment they need and have a say in how it is designed and delivered.

Programme aims and objectives

The RCPCH EQIP has the following aims and objectives:

  • support paediatric epilepsy services to identify and address gaps in care provision, including forging or strengthening links with other parts of healthcare service, schools and support organisations,
  • enable information sharing and operational integration between services and across regional networks.

In particular, the project objectives are to:

  • assess the training and support needs of paediatric epilepsy services in order to optimise care,
  • provide needs-based training to epilepsy teams to equip them with skills and capabilities to improve care,
  • provide ongoing advice and support to teams implementing service improvements, ensure collection of intervention measures to assess impact,
  • enable information and good practice sharing via the OPEN UK network,
  • evaluate the project as proof of concept and adapt for scale-up.

National reports and events

RCPCH EQIP has published updates on the team projects and outcomes and achievements within the Epilepsy12 2020 combined summary report, published on 10 September 2020. Four EQIP teams presented their completed projects at the 2020 Epilepsy12 & Organisation of Paediatric Epilepsy Networks (OPEN UK): ‘Working together to improve epilepsies’,  national conference as a live webinar. which took place on 10 September 2020.

RCPCH EQIP 2021

The RCPCH EQIP participant teams response to the Covid-19 pandemic during the first pilot delivered in 2019/2020; demonstrated the potential of the EQIP and for teams to test ways to improve and build resilience in paediatric epilepsy services. Additional funding of RCPCH EQIP activities related to Epilepsy12 audit, has been approved to expand upon future waves of supported projects in 2021, providing high quality distance learning in a virtual format.

 

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