Children’s epilepsy nurse is county first

Andrea Irlam is Northumbria Healthcare's first specialist epilepsy nurse for children.
Andrea Irlam is Northumbria Healthcare's first specialist epilepsy nurse for children.
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A specialist children’s epilepsy nurse has been appointed in Northumberland, the first position of its kind in the area.

Andrea Irlam will work across the county, as well as in North Tyneside, to provide expert healthcare support for children and young people with epilepsy and their families.

The post has been funded by national charity Epilepsy Action for the first year, working in partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Ms Irlam will see children in their homes, hospitals, schools and the community, providing clinical support and advice on all aspects of living with epilepsy, and helping families to identify and manage risks, develop care plans and liaise with specialists and other agencies.

The role is a first for the trust and is one of only two new paediatric specialist nurse posts in the North East.

Ms Irlam, who has been a nurse for 24 years, said: “I’m delighted to be appointed to this post and be the first port of call for children and young people living with epilepsy and their families.

“When a child or young person is first diagnosed it is an extremely anxious time for the whole family so it makes such a difference that I can go and see them and answer all the questions they may have, and be there for them whenever they need me.”

Epilepsy Action Healthcare Projects Co-ordinator Peri O’Connor said: “This new role will be vital in helping meet the needs of children and young people with epilepsy across Northumbria.”