Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological disease characterised by recurrent seizures and affects about 40,000 Irish people.
The Dublin Mid-Leinster Epilepsy Service is one of the largest epilepsy services in the country. The service covers a population of 900,000 from St James’s Hospital, south of the River Liffey in Dublin and extending south-west to Kildare, Westmeath, Laois and Offaly.
In this population we estimate there are about 6,500 adult patients with epilepsy. Between St James’s Hospital and our sister teaching hospital, Tallaght University Hospital, approximately 4,000 of these patients attend the service regularly.
Medical Team Consultants
Dr Colin Doherty
Dr Deirdre O'Rourke
Dr Yvonne Langan
Dr Raluca Stanila
Dr Lilia Zaporojan
Cara Synnott (Advanced Nurse Practitioner)
Claire Behan (Advanced Nurse Practitioner)
Denise Cunningham (Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Tallaght University Hospital)
Sinead Hynes (Advanced Nurse Practitioner)
Sinead Wilson (Clinical Nurse Specialist)
Anne Gough (Clinical Nurse Specialist)
Laura Healy (Clinical Specialist Dietitian)
The service in St James’s Hospital consists of three of the most experienced consultant neurologists in Ireland with special expertise in epilepsy care. They are supported by a dedicated team of epilepsy nurse specialists, registered advanced nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists. Several scientists affiliated with Trinity College Dublin and The Royal College of Surgeons conduct research in conjunction with our staff and patients.
The service prides itself on being as patient-centred as possible; and thus prioritises access to the service by phone, email, video or face to face consultation. The service adheres strictly to recognised pathways of care for patients, which have been developed as part of the National Epilepsy Care Programme over the past ten years to provide the best quality of service.
The Dublin Mid-Leinster Epilepsy Service is one of the few clinical services in Ireland to use a shared national clinical electronic patient record (EPR) that gives us access to patient information anytime it is required. This allows epilepsy service teams around the country access to the same record, should our patients be admitted to another Irish hospital.
Some patients have been using an interactive patient portal to access and update their records. The Dublin Mid-Leinster Epilepsy Service was among the first clinical service in Ireland to use virtual care, even before the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. More than 50% of consultations are now conducted using email, phone or video.
Outreach services are now provided to vulnerable populations; those with intellectual disability, living in residential settings, homeless people with epilepsy and prisoners.
The epilepsy service at St James’s Hospital is a Learning Health System. This means that staff are constantly reviewing the work they do and the care they deliver, informed by the feedback received from patients to redesign and enhance care for patients with epilepsy.
There are over 1,000 presentations with seizures to St James’s Hospital every year, with just less than half of these patients being admitted.
The hospital has employed a specific pathway for epilepsy care for the past number of years and has consistently seen year on year a reduction in admissions by the use of an evidence-based, intelligent support tool for Emergency Room doctors to help with decisions on admission and discharge.
Once a decision to discharge is made, the epilepsy service is committed to rapid follow-up within ten days of an Emergency Department attendance.
Clinics led by Advanced Nurse Practitioners: (please specify in referrals if you wish to be seen at these special clinics)
Virtual Care Clinics are where patients have their appointments at home or work by phone or video.
The epilepsy service has a robust research programme with affiliations with the Neurology Unit in Trinity College Dublin and the Science Foundation Ireland funded Research Centre FutureNeuro located at RCSI.
The team has specific research interests in pathways of care to improve patient outcomes:
E-Health and epilepsy
Genetics of epilepsy
Brain imaging in epilepsy
Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP)
There are two Rapid Access Clinics per week; these are on Tuesday and Friday.
Patients referred to the service who need to be seen quickly, can be referred to the RAC. These patients will receive a phone call within two weeks of receipt of an emailed referral and within six weeks of paper referral. Patients referred by the Emergency Department will be seen automatically in a Rapid Access Clinic.