Trust marks World Parkinson’s Day and celebrates close working relationship with local Parkinson’s UK community

Date: 11/04/2024 | Category: News 2024

On World Parkinson’s Day, 11 April, our staff are keen to raise awareness of the care provided by the Trust for people with Parkinson’s. We continually seek to improve the service and have forged close ties with local representatives of Parkinson’s Branch and Parkinson’s UK, working in partnership to provide additional resources, advice on access, new equipment, and a better understanding of the lived experience.

Recruiting for an ‘in reach’ Parkinson’s nurse

The Trust is extremely grateful for the support of local Parkinson’s UK representatives in helping the team with an application to secure funding for an ‘in reach’ Parkinson’s nurse. The 2-year fixed term role is possible thanks to ‘pump-prime’ funding from the Parkinson’s Excellence Network. The new addition to the team, to be appointed mid-2024, will provide the link between hospital-based services and support provided by community teams. The person appointed to this role will support people with Parkinson’s in hospital and help them to return to independent living and prevent unnecessary future hospital admissions.

Generous donation of furniture and equipment

Our local Parkinson’s UK Amersham and High Wycombe Branch has generously donated equipment to the Trust specialist therapy service for people with Parkinson’s and other neurological diagnoses. A new exercise bike, practice steps and weighing scales have kindly been provided to support those attending advice and education meetings and rehabilitation sessions in the Drake Unit at Amersham Hospital.

Drake therapy rehab team with the donated equipment from the local Amersham and High Wycombe Parkinson’s UK branch.

Scheme to detect swallowing difficulties

Last year our specialist speech and language therapists were awarded a Parkinson’s Excellence Network large grant to develop a new swallow assessment for patients with Parkinson’s who are admitted to hospital. The team is currently working on the project adapting admission processes and developing closer working systems with hospital pharmacists. The new swallow assessment process, once fully tested, may then be rolled out across other NHS trusts in England and Wales.

Parkinson’s service information

In addition, again working closely with Parkinson’s patient representatives, the team has recently created a Parkinson’s Disease service web page that provides those living with this condition in Buckinghamshire the information they need about the service and care provided. The web page also includes signposts to further information about the condition and links to help and advice that’s available nationally and locally.

Peter Miller, a representative of the local branch of Parkinson’s UK worked closely with the Trust team on content development. After sharing the new web pages with several people from the local Parkinson’s community, Peter reported that: “There was overwhelming gratitude and praise for the significant improvement in the amount of information now available on the Trust website.”

Rosie Brown, a retired neonatal nurse who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2015 aged 55 said: “A diagnosis of Parkinson’s often comes as a shock and those who are newly diagnosed need know how to access easily available information and support. It’s fantastic that Trust staff have worked with members of the local Parkinson’s community to improve the information available on the Parkinson’s page of the Trust website.”

To mark World Parkinson’s Day the Amersham and High Wycombe Branch of Parkinson’s UK will have stands in Amersham and Stoke Mandeville hospitals to talk to visitors and staff about issues concerning people with Parkinson’s – for example the importance of getting your medication on time when in hospital.

According to Dr Kevin Towler, Chair of Amersham and High Wycombe Branch of Parkinson’s UK: “This co-operation between clinical practitioners, clinical administrators and patients is quite unusual, but is something that should be encouraged as it enables all parties to develop a common basis so that the clinicians and patients are all clear on what is available to a person with Parkinson’s.”

Kevin also spoke to Bucks Radio about World Parkinson’s Day, the collaborative working at the Trust and what it’s like to live with Parkinson’s.

Angela Brooke, Community Neurology Pathways Lead, including the Community Head Injury Service and Community Neuro- Rehabilitation Service, for the Trust said: “The Trust is incredibly grateful to our local Parkinson’s representatives for giving our teams so much time, advice, support, funding and practical donations. We wouldn’t be able to provide the service we do for people in our community with Parkinson’s without such a positive, close and fruitful relationship.”

The Community Neurological Rehabilitation Service (CNRS) is a multidisciplinary team which has access to Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Clinical Psychologists and Speech and Language Therapists. The team provide a wide range of services for people with Parkinson’s in Buckinghamshire.