Parkinson’s sufferers face struggle to access services

People with Parkinson’s disease are facing “severe inequalities” in access to health and social care services and official guidelines are not being followed, MPs and peers said this week in a damning report.

The all-party parliamentary group for Parkinson’s disease said its inquiry into access to services had heard evidence that provision was insufficiently joined-up, there was limited information on services and carers lacked access to short breaks.

The report said the 2006 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines, advising the NHS on the most cost-effective ways to support people with the disease, were not being followed.

Nice’s recommendations included ensuring service users had regular access to specialist nursing care as well as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy.

On the back of its report, the Parkinson’s Disease Society, which supports the all-party group, has launched a campaign, Fair care for Parkinson’s, demanding improvements for the 120,000 people with the disease in the UK.

It is calling for a review of the health and social care workforce to guarantee enough skilled staff, effective monitoring of services to ensure national guidelines are met and for governments to appoint an authority on the disease to provide leadership.



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