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Understanding Parkinson's for health and social care staff - online (Excellence Network)

Parkinson's UK and the Open University created this free online course.

It takes approximately 24 hours to complete and covers a wide range of topics, helping you to understand Parkinson's better and provide top-quality care for people with the condition.

What participants will learn

  • the common signs, symptoms and progression of Parkinson's
  • the impact Parkinson's can have on the person with the condition and those around them
  • the processes, procedures, methods, techniques and services used to manage Parkinson's
  • the issues, side effects and related procedures commonly associated with Parkinson's medication
  • the communication and cognitive challenges associated with Parkinson's, their impact and ways to deal with them

How does it work?

As a health or social care professional you may provide care for people with Parkinson's in hospital, full-time residential care, in the community or in short-term respite care.

You'll probably meet people with Parkinson's who are at the complex phase, so this is the focus of the course.

The course is located on the Open University's OpenLearn Works website. You will work through it online at a pace that suits you.

You will have an opportunity to reflect on your practice and to connect with your peers. You can use it as a framework to support group work with your colleagues.

Once you have completed the course, you will earn a digital badge.

Who is the course for?

Health and social care professionals working in residential, respite, day care, home care or health settings.


Free of charge.

Parkinson's UK offers this course for free.

Particular thanks and appreciation go to the J. Macdonald Menzies Trust, which provided the funding to enable the development of the learning programme and this course.

How to apply

  1. Go to the OpenLearn Works' Understanding Parkinson's page.
  2. Register with the OpenLearn Works site by clicking on 'Register' at the top of the screen.
  3. When you have registered, click 'return to the page you were on'.
  4. Select 'Enrol', which is on the right side of the page by the Facebook symbol.
  5. Each time you go back to work on the course remember to sign in.