Looking back on 2021: what we achieved together across the Excellence Network

As 2021 draws to a close, Rowan Wathes, Associate Director of the UK Parkinson's Excellence Network, reflects on everything we've achieved together across the Excellence Network this year, and thanks health and social care professionals for their continued support to the Parkinson's community.

2021 has certainly been another busy year for us all. Looking back, I am really proud of everything we’ve achieved together across the Excellence Network.

A key highlight is of course the 2021 UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network Awards and Conference, taking place online for the first time. Over 400 health and social care professionals and the Parkinson's community came together across both events to share, learn, and shape the future of Parkinson's care - a brilliant achievement.

This year we’ve also supported more than 22,000 professionals through our learning hub and trained over 1,000 care staff through our volunteer education programme. Online learning remains a central part of the Excellence Network offer and we look forward to continuing to support people to learn about Parkinson’s so they can better care for their patients. 

We’ve also continued to see just how important the role of the Parkinson’s nurse is for people living with the condition, and so we were thrilled to welcome 25 new nurses into post across the UK, including 2 that have been funded through the Parkinson’s UK Grant Programme. And through our online nurse induction programme, we inducted 73 Parkinson’s nurses over the course of 4 weeks. Watch this space as next year we’ll also be launching our brand new therapy induction for specialist therapists!

Finally, 2021 saw the launch of our 4 Excellence Network national programmes. Each of the programmes have come directly from responses to the UK Parkinson’s Audit and are areas that we recognise to be most important in terms of supporting the Parkinson’s workforce and NHS services.

Despite these many highlights, we know this year hasn’t been without its challenges, and so on behalf of the Excellence Network, I’d like to extend my sincere thanks and admiration to all health and social care professionals. Throughout this year, you have continued to support and care for people with Parkinson’s, adapting to new ways of working and challenging circumstances at pace. 

I hope we can all contribute to a brighter and healthier 2022, and wish you a happy and safe Christmas and New Year. 

Best wishes,

Rowan Wathes
Associate Director of the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network


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