Epilepsy Specialist Nurses (ESNs) have been called ‘the glue that connects services to people with epilepsy’. They are in an ideal position to act as an expert resource and point of first contact for patients, carers and professionals alike. ESN roles are diverse across the three main sub-specialties: adult, pediatrics and learning disability. ESN involvement in epilepsy surgery pathways and multi-disciplinary teams has been identified as essential. Despite this, ESNs are still seen as an expensive luxury in some areas, with wide, geographical discrepancies in UK service provision.
The ESPENTE study creates much needed context to the argument for the development of the ESN as an integral part of the care provided to people with epilepsy, their family and carers. It provides a critical review of the available evidence and, most importantly, highlights the limitations of the current, published literature, while identifying priorities for future studies. This study provides a sound basis for nurses and academics, planning empirical studies to examine the effectiveness and impact of ESN roles in the future.