About the Epilepsy Technical Advisory Group

The Epilepsy Technical Advisory Group (TAG) has a whole system approach to build services for people with epilepsy.

Started in 2012, the group began with a review of complex epilepsy services and worked out how to improve them.

In 2016 more people joined TAG to give a broader range of guidance. The group aimed to create a better service model for people with epilepsy.

The TAG now has about 17 key stakeholders, including clinical and managerial leaders from districts with epilepsy services, and relevant consumer and NGO representation.


The TAG chair is Dr Suzanne Davis, a paediatric neurologist from Auckland.

Advisory role

The role of TAG is to provide the best knowledge and expertise to run a national project to make services better for people with complex drug-resistant epilepsy.

Work programme

The main objectives of the Epilepsy TAG work programme are to support a national service improvement approach for people with epilepsy, through the development of a service model that will:

  1. Put patients and whānau at its heart, ensuring that services are tailored to individual needs and outcomes.
  2. Integrate hospital services with community care to improve equity in treatment as well as clinical outcomes.
  3. Create guidelines to assist people with complex epilepsy which are appropriate to Aotearoa New Zealand:
    • Include options all kinds of care – hospital, outpatient, and community.
    • Make sure people are diagnosed early and referred to the right specialists.
    • Help people manage their epilepsy in the community, with regular medication reviews.
  4. Recommend the best ways to provide specialist treatments for people who still have seizures after being treated with medication.
    • Neurosurgery.
    • Pharmaceutical trials.
    • Diet therapies.

This model will create a lot of benefits for people with epilepsy, their whanau, and health providers.

  • Patients and whanau get better access to clinical care and expertise.
  • Healthcare professionals have better options for getting specialist advice and for working together in care teams.
  • The system is more cost-effective, and resources go to the right places.
  • Patients get better outcomes and more independence to manage their own epilepsy.

Guidelines and pathways

Guidelines and pathways for children and young people are on the Starship website:

Epilepsy guidelines and pathways for children and young people

Defining epilepsy paper

The epilepsy TAG endorses this paper defining epilepsy.