North West Wales

Pwllheli patient welcomes new epilepsy clinic in Bangor

Dylan Roberts with sister Llinos died at home suddenly in 2007 Image copyright Llinos Roberts
Image caption Dylan Roberts, with sister Llinos, was found dead in bed in 2007

A new specialist epilepsy clinic will open in Bangor, saving patients hours of travelling time.

The weekly nurse-led clinic at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor means patients will not have to travel to north east Wales for appointments.

The clinics are already available in Bodelwyddan and Wrexham.

Llinos Williams, whose brother Dylan Roberts died from a condition known as Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (Sudep), welcomed the new clinic.

Mr Roberts died in 2007, aged 18.

"Dylan had been diagnosed with epilepsy as an eight-year-old but had medication so fits were not regular," said Ms Williams.

"His death was very sudden."

Ms Williams, 28, from Pwllheli, was diagnosed with epilepsy herself in January.

She found if she wanted specialist treatment she would have to travel to clinics at Wrexham Maelor or Glan Clwyd hospitals, round-trips that can take several hours.

Specialist epilepsy nurse practitioner Dr Sheila Shepley said Ms Williams was not alone.

"I found half of my patients were coming from Anglesey, Bangor, the Llŷn and even as far as Tywyn," said Dr Shepley who ran two-weekly clinics at Glan Clwyd hospital.

"Rather than waiting for new funding to become available I adjusted my clinics."

Epilsepy Action Cymru manager Ann Sivapatham said there were 32,000 people diagnosed with epilepsy but only 14 specialists across Wales and none specifically for children with the condition.

"If you live in Powys, you have to travel to Shrewsbury, Hereford, Cardiff or Swansea, there is no-one locally," said Ms Sivapatham.

"We have a specialist nurse now based in Carmarthen but that is to cover the whole of the Hywel Dda area."

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