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Comment on the Public Accounts Committee Reducing Emergency Admissions report

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Commenting on the Reducing Emergency Admissions (pdf, 199KB) report from the Public Accounts Committee out today, Matina Loizou, co-chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition and Senior Policy and Campaigns Advisor at Parkinson's UK, said:

"While we welcome the recommendations to reduce emergency admissions, the report misses vital new evidence on the devastating role prescription charges are playing in people needing emergency treatment.

"We know that people with long-term conditions are struggling to afford the medication they rely on, people have told us they have to skip doses or haven’t been able to pick up a prescription due to cost, and inevitably this leads to health complications.

"Our recent research (pdf, 119MB) shows that scrapping prescription charges for people with Parkinson's would reduce emergency admissions by 9%, there would be 20% fewer inpatient days and 11% fewer hospital admissions per year. For inflammatory bowel disease, there would be 6,983 fewer flare ups of people needing treatment.

"This Sunday marks 50 years since the medical exemption list for prescription charges was updated. The Government urgently needs to review the list, both to take the strain off our already stretched NHS, but also so people with long-term conditions are not forced to gamble on their health."

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About Parkinson's

Every hour, 2 people in the UK are told they have Parkinson's.

It affects 145,000 people in the UK - which is around 1 adult in every 350.

Parkinson's is a degenerative neurological condition, for which there currently is no cure. The main symptoms of the condition are tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity.

Symptoms vary from person to person, so people with Parkinson's can benefit hugely from local groups which provide support and an opportunity to share experiences with others in a similar situation.

Parkinson's UK is the UK's leading charity supporting those with the condition. Its mission is to find a cure and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson's through cutting edge research, information, support and campaigning.

For advice, information and support, visit parkinsons.org.uk or call our free, confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303.