Going into hospital when you have Parkinson's

Going into hospital can be an anxious time for anyone, especially during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. If you have Parkinson’s, or you're caring for someone who does, you may have questions about how to be prepared and what to expect.

You can read in more detail about what to consider before, during and after a hospital stay on the following pages, but here are our top tips.

Emergency admissions

This is an anxious time for many people and we know that you may be worried about what to tell staff if you're admitted to hospital in an emergency. You should:

  • Tell staff you have Parkinson's and how important it is to get your medication on time.
  • ​Explain to staff what medication you take. Show them your medication record and ask them to keep a copy of it in your notes. Check they have recorded this accurately. 
  • Ask a member of staff to let your GP, specialist or Parkinson’s nurse know you are in hospital.
  • ​Tell staff if you have had deep brain stimulation and show them your patient ID card.

Preparing for a planned hospital admission

  • ​Keep an up-to-date medication record, which includes all the medication you are currently taking (not just for Parkinson’s) and what time you take each dose. 
  • ​Tell your GP, specialist or Parkinson’s nurse that you're going into hospital. They can provide details of your medication regime to the healthcare team who will be looking after you. Your Parkinson’s nurse can also talk to the ward staff about the importance of getting your medication on time.
  • ​Make sure people know you have Parkinson’s. You can do this at a pre-admission assessment, or when you are admitted.
  • ​Prepare extra supplies of your medication, which should be kept in its original packaging.
  • ​Find out whether your hospital has a self-administration policy for medication on your ward.
  • Tell staff if you have had deep brain stimulation (DBS) and show them your patient ID card.

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Going into hospital when you have Parkinson's (PDF, 4MB)

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"I had several outpatient appointments that I had to go to alone because of restrictions. My daughter was allowed to ‘sit in’ via phone for one appointment and took notes, which was very helpful and reassuring."

During the pandemic, Kate had emergency surgery and spent several days on the intensive care ward. Here, she shares her tips for managing a hospital stay or outpatient appointments if you need to go to hospital during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Last updated February 2020. We review all our information within 3 years. If you'd like to find out more about how we put our information together, including references and the sources of evidence we use, please contact us at [email protected]