MPs and Peers have been talking about some key issues for people affected by Parkinson's thanks to members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Parkinson's.
Neurology services in England
Baroness Gale, who is Co-Chair of the APPG on Parkinson's and whose father had the condition, led a passionate debate about neurology services in England.
All Peers who joined the debate agreed that there are not enough neurologists and that their provision is very patchy across the country.
They also talked about the pressing need for overall leadership to drive up the standard of neurology services.
The government minister who responded promised to meet with Baroness Gale to discuss the issues further.
Availability of Duodopa
Virendra Sharma MP held a debate to discuss access to Duodopa, a drug for advanced Parkinson's.
The National Institute of Care Excellence (NICE) has proposed that its new 'Parkinson's Guidance' should advise consultants not to offer Duodopa to patients (this would not affect people already getting the drug).
Mr Sharma MP used the debate to expose anomalies with NICE's proposal, including their apparent assumption that Apomorphine and Deep Brain Stimulation are alternative treatments for people who might otherwise benefit from Duodopa.
Parkinson's UK, along with a number of other organisations, has responded to NICE's consultation to object strongly to this proposal and NICE is due to respond to the consultation in late March or early April.
Drop-in briefing on welfare proposals
Stephen Timms MP hosted a drop-in event for MPs to hear our concerns about the Government's 'Improving lives: The Work, Health and Disability Green Paper'.
We fully support the Green Paper's ambition to halve the difference between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled people.
However, we are concerned that the proposals in the Green Paper to achieve this aim don't address the main barriers to employment for people who can work (such as employer prejudice), and could make life harder for those people with Parkinson's who are unlikely to return to work because of the nature of the condition.
MPs came from the 3 main parties to discuss the issues and many offered to support our work to secure the best outcomes for people affected by Parkinson's.
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