Paul Moore: Scotland sets standards in transforming lives

WHEN Kelsey Durham first came to Quarriers’ Scottish Epilepsy Centre four years ago her dreams had already been shattered. She was 16 and had been having recurrent seizures for many years, preventing her from doing the things most teenagers take for granted.

Her ambition was to become a nurse, but this career was out of reach as her condition meant she had difficulty studying. One suggestion was that she had epilepsy but it this was by no means certain.

Within days of being admitted to the centre Kelsey was diagnosed as having three strains of epilepsy.

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Now, one pill a day controls her seizures – and Kelsey’s dreams are back on track. The 20-year-old is studying health and social care, and that career is now within her grasp.

Today, Kelsey will join Quarriers to mark the start of a new chapter in the charity’s history – the opening of the state-of-the-art William Quarrier Scottish Epilepsy Centre in Govan.

The new £6.4 million national centre, replacing the current one in Bridge of Weir, will be a lifeline for thousands like Kelsey who live with complex forms of epilepsy which can affect every aspect of their daily lives.

Research and training undertaken at the centre will benefit patients and families across Europe and beyond. Its location near the centre of Glasgow will make it accessible for patients from across the UK.

Doctors and nurses will access epilepsy training at the centre as a result of a unique partnership with the world-renowned Institute of Neurological Sciences at the Southern General Hospital.

The sheer scale of the needs of people with epilepsy in Scotland and further afield is demanding much greater ambitions from Quarriers. Having built this world-class centre, Quarriers can now begin to think about the research, educational programme and policy influencing that will reach tens of thousands each year.

The William Quarrier Scottish Epilepsy Centre is only the beginning of our ambition, and it will help us fulfil our mission to transform the lives of people like Kelsey.

• Paul Moore is chief executive of the charity Quarriers.