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Last week in Dail Eireann, Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton received confirmation, from Minister for Health, James Reilly TD, of the opening of the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit in Cork University Hospital (CUH). The unit is due to be opened on, or before, Monday, 31st March, 2014.

“I am very pleased to receive assurances from Minister Reilly that the CUH Epilepsy Monitoring Unit will be open and operational before the end of March. The CUH Unit will be the second of its kind to be opened in the country with the Unit in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin having been opened just two weeks ago”, noted Deputy Stanton.

“The Epilepsy National Clinical Care Programme provides for the commissioning of a regional epilepsy monitoring unit to be based in CUH. This unit will provide accessible comprehensive care for patients in the entire southern area, particularly those with acutely unstable and disabling chronic epilepsy.

“CUH executive management board allocated ward 3A as a suitable location for the epilepsy monitoring unit, which will be shared with the Stroke unit due to open earlier in March. Funding of €140,000 was provided for the infrastructural upgrade of ward 3A and a further €217,000 was provided for the purchase of the required epilepsy monitoring equipment.

“Minister Reilly advised that the commissioning of the unit required the recruitment of additional staff, with the recruitment of nurses posing difficulties. Minister Reilly said that the HSE have assured him that the recruitment process is now in the final stages, and successful candidates are now being offered contracts of employment.

“The opening of the epilepsy monitoring unit is good news for people with epilepsy and their families in Cork and the southern area. This unit will be very similar to the unit in Beaumont Hospital and will use the latest technological equipment available and the staff will not be able to diagnose, with much greater accuracy, the forms of epilepsy people have and will therefore improve and enhance treatment programmes including possible surgical options”, concluded Deputy Stanton.