New NHS toolkit to offer people with Parkinson’s “highest quality care”


Author: Simge Eva DoganPublished: 5 September 2019

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NHS Building Parkinson's toolkit

An initiative from England’s National Health Service (NHS) aims to improve the speed of Parkinson’s diagnosis through a new online toolkit

Faster diagnosis and better care are at the core of a new NHS England initiative for people with neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s.

The RightCare Progressive Neurological Conditions Toolkit – an online resource available to download – offers healthcare professionals expert practical advice and guidance on how to improve the diagnosis and treatment of people living with neurological conditions.

In addition, the toolkit could result in 2,500 fewer annual emergency hospital admissions – saving the UK an estimated £10m to reinvest in care services.

Designed by NHS England’s RightCare team – which seeks to improve patient spending and care – the initiative is supported by several leading charities including Parkinson’s UK, MS Society, MS Trust, MND Association, Sue Ryder, MSA Trust and PSP Association.

The toolkit will also focus on how technology can improve both the planning and delivery of Parkinson’s care. This includes advising the use of virtual clinics to communicate blood test results, and arranging consultations over Skype for those who request it.

An opportunity to deliver better care

Senior figures from Parkinson’s community have applauded the initiative for its specific focus on the condition.

Steve Ford, chief executive of Parkinson’s UK, said: “For too long, services have neglected progressive neurological conditions. This is as dangerous as it is unjust, putting people at higher risk simply because of the kind of condition they have.”

Laura Cockram, head of policy and campaigns for Parkinson’s UK, said: “Neurology and Parkinson’s are often forgotten areas of the NHS.

“People with Parkinson’s deserve the highest quality care and we know professionals working in Parkinson’s try to deliver this. This toolkit gives all health professionals key activities they can undertake to improve care for people with Parkinson’s, MS and motor neurone disease.”

Commenting on the new tools, Dawn Chamberlain, programme director for clinical improvement at NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “This is an opportunity for the NHS to work directly with patients and their families to deliver better care closer to home for the thousands of people with progressive neurological conditions.

“Many areas are already providing high quality care in line with best practice, and by supporting others to come up to the same standard, we can deliver faster, more joined-up and better care for thousands more people – supporting them to stay well in their own homes.”

In this five-minute video, Ed Richfield, consultant in geriatric medicine at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK, provides an overview of the NHS RightCare approach to Parkinson’s.

You can download the RightCare Progressive Neurological Conditions Toolkit here.

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