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Care and treatment: your rights and choices

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Care and treatment: your rights and choices

Our ‘Care and treatment: your rights and choices’ information explains your rights and choices with regard to your epilepsy care and treatment.

‘Rights’ are in the NHS Constitution and the Handbook to the NHS Constitution, and you are entitled to them by law. Where we say ‘you should’, you may not have a legal right, but these are recommendations made in the NICE* (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guideline on epilepsy.

Terms used

Primary care – this means health services such as the GP or pharmacy. This is ‘primary care’ because it is usually the first place you will go to for help with anything medical.

Secondary care/ secondary services – this covers health services such as local hospitals and clinics, where you would see someone more specialised than the GP or pharmacist, such as a neurologist. This is ‘secondary care’ because you usually have to be referred by your GP. It also includes A&E departments.

Tertiary care/ tertiary services – this refers to specialist hospitals or units that focus on specific care for different conditions. For example, if someone is being considered for epilepsy surgery, they might be seen in tertiary care. You have to be referred to tertiary care from either primary or secondary care.

Where we refer to the NHS Constitution, this is not specific to your epilepsy, but applies to everyone. Where we refer to the NICE clinical guideline on epilepsy, this is specific to your epilepsy and its management.


This information is based on the NHS Constitution, The Handbook to the NHS Constitution, the NICE* clinical guideline on epilepsy and the Equality Act 2010 .

* NICE is the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

Find out more about the sources for Care and treatment: your rights choices - the documents and organisations that have provided much of the basis for this information.

Information reviewed March 2023

Your care plan/review

Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You should have a care plan agreed with your healthcare professionals, which should include details of your care and support. You should also be able to have reviews of your epilepsy'. 


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