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Epilepsy Society facts

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Epilepsy Society facts

Doctors and scientists at Epilepsy Society are making a major contribution to the world's research into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy, pioneering novel diagnostic techniques and making possible improvements in both surgical and medical treatment of the condition.

Epilepsy Society was first established in Chalfont St Peter, Bucks in 1892. Epilepsy Society is the largest medical charity in the field in the UK. Its headquarters are in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire and it works in close partnership with the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London.

Difficult-to-treat epilepsy

The Society's globally unique NHS epilepsy assessment facility, the Sir William Gowers Centre, provides individual assessment, rehabilitation training and ground-breaking research opportunities and sees approximately 3,000 people whose epilepsy is difficult to manage each year. The unit's success-rate is high, with most patients seeing a considerable improvement in the control of their seizures. Around 20 per cent of those admitted are found to have been wrongly diagnosed and do not have epilepsy.

Dedicated MRI unit for epilepsy

The world's first MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) unit to be dedicated solely to the identification of the causes of epilepsy is located at Epilepsy Society's Chalfont Centre. Using a powerful 3 Tesla MRI scanner work at this unit has meant that up to 70% of people with epilepsy can now have the cause of their epilepsy identified. Linked to the Sir William Gowers Centre, it is now possible to undertake an MRI scan directly following a seizure. Working closely with the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), the Society offers the largest NHS outpatient clinic in the country.

Residential care

A review of Epilepsy Society’s residential care means that the Society is moving towards providing expert care and accommodation for over 90 people with severe epilepsy combined with learning and physical disabilities. Epilepsy Society also provides rehabilitiation programmes supported by multi disciplinary teams.

Someone calling the helpline

You can call our helpline on 01494 601 400.

Our Helpline is open five days a week, Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm, (Wednesday 9am to 7.30pm). 

You can also reach us by email

Our people

Read biographies for members of our board of trustees, president and vice president, and our senior management team including our CEO Clare Pelham (pictured above).