The Queen's speech for people with Parkinson's
The first Queen's Speech following the snap general election contained some helpful proposals for the NHS in England, but we await further detail on plans for social care and new immigration law that could affect some medical research.
These areas may be of particular interest for people affected by Parkinson's:
New patient safety investigating body (England)
The Draft Patient Safety Bill will aim to improve how the NHS investigates and learns from mistakes by establishing an independent investigative body to look at serious incidents.
We welcome the creation of an independent overall body as currently investigation of patient safety issues is undertaken locally and can involve different processes.
Parkinson's UK will urge the government to ensure that there is clarity around what constitutes a 'serious incident' and that the process of sharing information with the body will be open to patients.
Mental health (England)
The commitment to ensure that mental health is prioritised in the NHS in England is vital to good care for people with Parkinson's.
Mental health problems are common for people with the condition, but we know they are significantly under-recognised and overlooked symptoms.
The continued investment promised by the government in new and better services across the whole spectrum of mental health conditions must prioritise access to appropriate and timely mental health support for people with Parkinson's.
Social care consultation
The Government has announced it intends to launch a consultation on proposals to 'improve the social care system and put it on a more secure financial footing'.
It's unclear whether this will include previously announced plans to increase the means-test threshold to £100,000 as set out in the Conservative Party manifesto, or reconsider the cap on lifetime care costs.
New immigration law
An Immigration Bill is proposed, along with a raft of legislation, to prepare the UK for leaving the EU.
In order to ensure that we can continue to benefit from medical research opportunities across Europe, we will urge the Government to ensure that new immigration policies still allow for ease of movement for everyone involved in medical research – from lab technicians to patients.
Our next steps
We'll be briefing MPs and Peers on the impact of the Government's plans on people affected by Parkinson's during the debates about the speech over the coming days.
We will also raise our points with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Parkinson's, which meets for the first time since the election on 11 July 2017.
Join our campaigns network to get involved in our work, and make sure politicians understand Parkinson's and how they can improve their constituency for people affected by the condition.