National society for epilepsy

The Epilepsy Society (formerly known as the National Society for Epilepsy) is the largest medical charity in the field of epilepsy in the United Kingdom, providing services for people with epilepsy for over 100 years. Based in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, UK, its stated mission is "to enhance the quality of life of people affected by epilepsy by promoting research, education and public awareness and by delivering specialist medical care and support services." The Epilepsy Society has close partnerships with the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN) and the UCL Institute of Neurology, both located in Queen Square, London.


Epilepsy Society is a leading epilepsy medical charity supporting all people affected by epilepsy. The services provided by the charity include:

  • Residential care for over 100 adults within care homes at the Chalfont Centre and also in supported living accommodation.
  • Diagnosis, assessment and treatment at the Sir William Gowers Centre in Chalfont, Buckinghamshire.
  • Research into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. Research focuses on brain imaging and genetics.
  • Epilepsy information through a national helpline, regional services and awareness raising programmes.
  • Online forum, Facebook and Twitter
  • Campaigning on issues to help all people affected by epilepsy live as full a life as possible
  • Epilepsy training to external organisations.
  • Employment opportunities for people with epilepsy.


In 1892, a group of physicians from National Hospital for the Paralysed and the Epileptic, together with various philanthropists, founded the National Society for the Employment of Epileptics.[1] The first executive committee of the Society included the notable physicians John Hughlings Jackson, Sir William Gowers, and David Ferrier. The aim was to establish an agricultural colony where people with epilepsy could live and work. A 370-acre (1.5 km2) farm was bought in Chalfont St Peter which at its peak in the 1950s, cared for over 550 people.

In the 1970s, an NHS treatment unit was established at Chalfont.

In 1995 a 1.5 tesla MRI scanner was installed - the first dedicated to research in epilepsy. This has now been superseded by a 3 tesla instrument in 2004, which produces higher resolution images. The NSE's MRI Unit is at the forefront of medical imaging research applied to epilepsy. In 2011 the charity changed its name to Epilepsy Society.


External links

  • Epilepsy Society website.
  • Charity Commission for England and Wales.
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