South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne is supporting National Epilepsy Week, to raise awareness and advocate better support for people with epilepsy.
From today until the 30th May, National Epilepsy Week will be observed across the country. Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects the brain, leading to recurring seizures or fits in individuals. It is estimated that approximately 500,000 people in England are diagnosed with epilepsy, which can affect people of all ages, from new-borns to the elderly.
Recognising symptoms of a seizure and knowing how to respond can make a significant difference in helping those affected. Education and awareness about epilepsy are key to ensuring that individuals, their families, and the public can provide the necessary support when a seizure occurs.
During National Epilepsy Week, Epilepsy Action is focusing on conception counselling for individuals affected. Research shows that 33% of women on certain medications, such as carbamazepine or topiramate, are unaware of the increased risk of birth abnormalities if taken during pregnancy.
Employment remains challenging for people with epilepsy, with only 42% of working-age individuals employed, resulting in one of the lowest employment rates among disabled people in the UK. They also face an average pay gap of 11.8% compared to non-disabled workers.
Mr Dunne advocates for recognising epilepsy in discussions about support for disabled individuals facing rising living expenses. He supports the call for focused employment support, ensuring equal opportunities and fair treatment. The rising cost of living further affects those with epilepsy, leading to increased seizures due to stress.
Philip Dunne MP said:
“I am proud to support National Epilepsy Week to help raise awareness about epilepsy and work towards providing better support for individuals and families affected by this condition.
“By increasing knowledge and understanding, we can help create a more inclusive society where individuals with epilepsy can thrive and receive the support, they need to lead fulfilling lives.”