People affected by Parkinson's in York and the surrounding areas can now benefit from specialist support, thanks to the appointment of a second Parkinson's nurse for the area.
Parkinson's is a serious neurological condition for which there is currently no cure. Around 148,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with Parkinson's, including around 11,500 in Yorkshire and the Humber. Parkinson's UK is funding the nurse post for 2 years.
The announcement is welcomed by local MPs, Rachael Maskell and Nigel Adams, who along with Parkinson's UK were integral to the campaign for the second nurse post, who will be based across community services.
Parkinson's nurses are critical to the care of people living with the condition. They help people manage their medication, offer advice and information about living with Parkinson's, and give emotional support to both the person with Parkinson’s and their family or carer.
As well as advising on the complex medication regimes that are crucial to managing symptoms, these nurses have been proven to save the NHS money by reducing hospital admissions and consultant appointments.
According to figures by Parkinson’s UK, on average a nurse can save an NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) up to £43,812 annually in avoided consultant appointments, £80,000 in unplanned admissions to hospital, and £147,021 in days spent in hospital.
Tracy Westgarth, Parkinson’s UK’s Area Development Manager for Yorkshire and the Humber, said:
"We're delighted Vale of York CCG have moved ahead with our funding to introduce a second nurse to enable a more holistic nurse service that will better serve the local community.
"The great thing about a specialist nurse is that they’ll be able to spend more time with patients and provide more frequent and personalised advice. This level of support will improve people’s conditions overall, as well as reducing hospital visits and lengths of stay.”
Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central said:
“I am thrilled that a second specialist nurse to support people with Parkinson’s has finally been appointed. After 2 years of campaigning, this is a real victory and now there will be 2 specialist nurses available which will enrich the lives of so many people across the region.
“Having worked in neurology as a physiotherapist previously, I have seen first-hand the challenges that people living with Parkinson’s have to face. Parkinson’s is a serious degenerative neurological condition which can happen at any age and has a major impact on everyday life. Knowing that everyone affected by Parkinson’s will have access to specialist support is a real asset.”
Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty said:
“I am absolutely thrilled to hear that the CCG has appointed a second dedicated Parkinson’s nurse. It is such a vital role and provides much needed support for people living with Parkinson’s in our area. I wish the new Parkinson’s nurse all the best in their new role – I know they will be making a huge difference.”
Dr Nigel Wells, NHS Vale of York CCG’s Clinical Chair said:
“I am delighted that the funding for a second specialist nurse has been made available in the Vale of York.
“This expert support, which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of patients, will be shaped around each individual patient, allowing them to manage their condition in ways that best meet their personal needs.”
About Parkinson's UK
Parkinson’s UK is the leading charity driving better care, treatments and quality of life for those with the condition. Its mission is to find a cure and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson's through pioneering research, information, support and campaigning.