8 remarkable things we achieved together in 2019, and recent years

2019 was another exciting year of progress. Here are 8 of the highlights, and 8 ways you can still get involved.

Together, we’ve come a long way since 2015. Here are 8 stand out moments, and what the future holds for 2020-24.

1. We Are Undefeatable

We partnered with 14 other charities to deliver the We Are Undefeatable campaign. 1 in 4 people in England (15 million) live with one or more long-term health conditions. The campaign recognises the unique barriers these people face to physical activity and exercise. We’re hoping to inspire, reassure and support people in their quest to be active.

Find out how physical activity and exercise can help Parkinson's.

2. Get It On Time

We're campaigning to make sure that everyone in a care home or hospital gets their medication on time - every time. We know that medication is a lifeline for people living with Parkinson’s. We launched a new report that asks the NHS to take action to improve medication management for people with Parkinson’s in hospital.

Add your name to the Get It On Time petition.

3. GDNF trials

We conducted a pioneering trial to test whether GDNF treatment can slow, stop or reverse Parkinson's - something no current treatment can do. The trial results offer hope that it may be possible to restore the cells damaged in Parkinson’s. We're working with the research team, companies, charities and patients to explore possible routes to further studies.

Take part in research by visiting our Take Part Hub.

Do GDNF clinical trial results offer hope for Parkinson's?

The pioneering GDNF clinical trials programme delivered an experimental treatment directly to the brain. The trial results offer hope that it may be possible to restore the cells damaged in Parkinson’s.

4. CBD research trials

We’re finding out whether CBD (cannabidiol) is a safe and effective treatment for people with Parkinson’s-related psychosis. Between 50% and 60% per cent of people with Parkinson’s are affected by psychosis at some point in their life. There are no licensed medications in the UK for this. We’ve partnered with scientists at King’s College London and invested £1.2 million in a clinical trial to find out more.

Follow the Parkinson’s UK research blog to get the latest research news.

5. Better treatment and a cure faster

Since 2015 we’ve invested more in research than ever before. As well as the groundbreaking GDNF trial and the Take Part Hub, we launched our pioneering Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech. It fills the funding gap that’s stopping promising research discoveries becoming treatments on the market. We’ve also co-funded and co-led the Critical Path for Parkinson’s consortium. This has transformed the way that influential regulatory authorities work with the pharmaceutical industry. It will make clinical trials more likely to succeed, more cost-effective, and better for patients.

Discover more about our drug discovery and development arm, Virtual Biotech.

6. Quality services as standard

Over the past 5 years we’ve launched the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network and driven a 16% increase in quality of care. We have also transformed services for people who are newly diagnosed, by developing the First Steps programme. 84% of people are now signposted to Parkinson's UK at the point of diagnosis. People with Parkinson's taking part in First Steps had a 20% higher sense of control and gave it a 100% satisfaction rating.

Find out more about the First Steps Programme.

Excellent Parkinson's Care

Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust does amazing collaborative work for their patients. They were highly commended – at the 2017 Excellence Network Awards for their work for adapting their services according to patient feedback.

7. Empowerment to take control

People consistently tell us that meeting others living with Parkinson's is the most important support they want locally. There are now 170 Parkinson's Cafes across the UK, as well as a re-designed local support finder on our website. We’ve plugged gaps in support too, helping people access over £1m in benefits. We will have supported 28,500 people in 2019 alone. We’ve also been campaigning to influence policymakers to consider Parkinson’s when developing government programmes. Since 2015 we've achieved 63 positive policy changes to benefit people with Parkinson’s.

Sign-up to our campaigns network and support us by taking action online.

8. Our new strategy

We've come a long way since 2015. These 8 achievements are a fraction of the impact we've shared together over the last 5 years. They show progress we're proud of. But we won’t rest until we’ve found a cure and improved life for everyone affected by Parkinson’s. The closer we get, the harder we’ll work. Our new strategy for 2020-24 focuses on 3 important areas that matter the most to people with Parkinson's:

  • Accelerating breakthroughs in research
  • Better support, every day
  • Getting Parkinson’s understood

Watch this space for 2020 and our new strategy.