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Thursday 24th May 2018

Services 'failing' Parkinson's patients

9th July 2009

A top-level parliamentary report has highlighted failings in services for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Old Hands

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Parkinson's Disease, which heard from hundreds of patients and care organisations, found that some patients went for years without seeing a specialist doctor or nurse and in some areas treatment was restricted.

MPs have urged a thorough review of services after finding inequalities in access to care and with shortfalls in Wales and Northern Ireland in particular, where there is no consultant with expertise in Parkinson’s.

The inquiry has called for a Parkinson’s tsar, closer monitoring of services, and ensuring more qualified staff are in place.

Chair of the APPG for Parkinson’s Disease Baroness Gale said MPs hoped the inquiry report would provide the boost to the UK government and the devolved administrations in Wales and Northern Ireland to "reprioritise Parkinson's and to deliver against the report's recommendations".

The condition affects 120,000 people in the UK and experts have warned that appointments with specialist are important because of the high rate of misdiagnosis.

Steve Ford, Chief Executive of the Parkinson's Disease Society, said: "The report uncovers just how bad services are for so many people with Parkinson's. This needs to change.

"We want to see effective monitoring of Parkinson's services to ensure they meet national guidelines and standards, an urgent review of the health and social care workforce, and stronger national and local leadership by government."

Health Minister Ann Keen said medical staff in the field of neurology had increased by more than 50% since 1997.


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