Parkinson’s UK teams up with Scottish Ambulance Service

We've teamed up with the Scottish Ambulance Service as part of a drive to get medication on time to people with Parkinson’s.

It’s vital that people with Parkinson’s take their medication within 30 minutes of the prescribed time. Even a slight delay can have serious implications. Further delays and missed medications can cause long lasting harm for someone living with Parkinson’s. 

We’ve created a factsheet of advice on getting people with Parkinson’s their medication on time when they’re being transported to hospital. 

Last week, we presented the factsheet to the Scottish Ambulance Service. It will be available to every ambulance team in Scotland and shared through Scottish Ambulance Service’s internal channels.

By spreading awareness among healthcare professionals, including ambulance teams, we can prevent the people with Parkinson’s experiencing distressing symptoms if they need to be transported to hospital. 

Paramedics in the know

Diane Mitchell from Irvine, Ayrshire, lives with Parkinson’s. She experienced the importance of an ambulance crew looking after her medication requirements when she fell and fractured her shoulder in 2022.

When the paramedic found out that she had Parkinson’s, he made sure she had her medication for the ambulance journey so she could take it on time.

Without his intervention, Diane would have been very unwell by the time she was admitted into hospital several hours later:

“I was lucky, the paramedic who attended the call had a family connection to Parkinson’s and, once he knew I had the condition, made sure I had my medication.

“I was fortunately conscious when the ambulance came to get me and was able to tell the paramedic about the condition and my symptoms. He might not have been aware if I was unconscious and there was no carer around. 

“It’s so important people with Parkinson’s get their medication on time as the difference is unbelievable, before and after, it’s like day and night.”

Time critical medication

James Jopling, Scotland Director for Parkinson’s UK, presented the factsheet to Laura Scott-Stewart, Paramedic Clinical Team Leader with the Scottish Ambulance Service, last week in Edinburgh. 

James said:

“We work with professionals in different settings, across the country, to help people with Parkinson’s get their medication on time, every time.

“It’s been great collaborating with the Scottish Ambulance Service on this initiative, which we hope will support timely access to medication when people with Parkinson’s are being transported to hospital. This is more important than ever, with the health service under great pressure and reports of longer waiting times at A&E departments.

“We’re looking forward to working further with the Scottish Ambulance Service and other agencies to improve support and services for everyone living with Parkinson’s in Scotland.”

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said:

“We’re pleased to team up with Parkinson's UK to ensure all our scheduled care and emergency crews can help patients with Parkinson's to take their medications on time.

“With an estimated 12,500 people in Scotland with Parkinson's, this campaign is also a vital reminder to those with a diagnosis, and their families, that it is imperative to take medications at the right time. We’ll be sharing the guidelines across the organisation, as well as highlighting the vital work of Parkinson's UK.”

Get It On Time

We're campaigning to make sure that everyone in a hospital or care home gets their medication on time, every time. Find out more about the Get It On Time campaign and how you can get involved.