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Providing care and treatment for patients with Parkinson’s disease in Brent

Laura Niepage

People in Brent now have access to a community-based Parkinson’s disease nurse specialist service, provided by London North West Healthcare NHS Trust.

The new service, funded by Brent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), began in June. Led by a Parkinson's Disease Nurse Specialist, the new service provides care and treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease, helping to increase their quality of life and their ability to manage the condition effectively. 

The new nurse will spend the majority of their time working out in the community visiting patients wherever appropriate, including homes (nursing homes, residential and domiciliary patients) as well as GP practices and community clinics. 

Early initiatives include a review of all people with Parkinson’s disease currently accessing services to identify existing gaps in provision. A register of patients with the condition will also be created, along with the setting up Parkinson’s disease-specific expert patient groups. 

The community nurse will be the first point of contact for patients, carers and professionals, acting as a reliable source of information about clinical and social issues that are of concern to people with Parkinson’s and their carers.

Laura Niepage, the Trust’s new Parkinson's Disease Nurse Specialist, said: “Living with a neurodegenerative disease, such as Parkinson’s, can have a huge impact on the lives of everyone affected.

“With this new service individuals will get information, education and support for them and their families and friends about their condition. The aim is to retain their quality of life and their activities of daily living and to retain and regain confidence. We also aim to prevent admissions to hospital with assessments, individualised care plans and meet-ups in between consultant appointments.” 

Parkinson's disease is a condition in which neurons in a part of the brain become progressively damaged over many years. A person with Parkinson's can experience a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms. There are roughly 700 people living with Parkinson’s disease in Brent. 

Dr Ethie Kong, Chair of Brent CCG said: “The new community service uses skills across our local NHS to effectively care for and treat Parkinson’s disease. 

“The nurse will work closely with a range of NHS teams including neurology teams based at Northwick Park Hospital, Central Middlesex Hospital and Charing Cross Hospitals. The nurse will also work with other existing community services as well as local voluntary and support groups, including the Brent and Barnet branch of Parkinson’s UK.”

Dr Sophie Molloy, the Trust’s Parkinson’s lead said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Brent CCG to deliver better community care for Brent patients with Parkinson’s disease and their carers. The appointment of a Brent based community Parkinson’s specialist nurse is expected to be in conjunction with improved services for all Parkinson’s patients attending the Trust’s hospital sites, regardless of the borough in which they live.”