Better care for Parkinson's patients

April 18, 2007 3:35 PM
Mark calls for better care for Parkinson's patients

Mark calls for better care for Parkinson's patients

Local MP Mark Hunter yesterday (17th April) joined other MPs in welcoming Parkinson's Awareness Week in a reception in the House of Commons. Parkinson's awareness week is highlighting how lack of Government compliance with the NICE guidelines for Parkinson's disease, misdiagnosis by GPs, and lack of specialists can lead to delays in diagnosis, delays which can cause unnecessary suffering for those with Parkinson's. Parkinson's has a 47% misdiagnosis rate by GPs and NICE guidelines stating that people who are suspected as having Parkinson's should be referred to a specialist neurologist or geriatrician are not being followed.

Mr Hunter also signed Early Day Motion (EDM 1274) calling for services for Parkinson sufferers to be improved. The EDM called for Government to follow the 'Early Recognition, Prompt Diagnosis and Treatment' framework set out by NICE. It also called for Government to reduce waiting time for specialist appointments to help ensure early recognition of the disease and reduce misdiagnosis rates.

Mr Hunter is a long-time campaigner on this issue. He only recently attended the Annual General Meeting of the Stockport Parkinson's Disease Society at the County Hotel Bramhall as their guest speaker, and has also backed the group's successful campaign to obtain a dedicated Parkinson's nurse for the area.

Speaking after the event, Mark Hunter said: "This disease not only affects the quality of life of so many elderly people, but it also kills. It is appalling that the misdiagnosis rate is so high. The Government should be doing more to ensure that possible sufferers get quick access to specialists so they can be quickly diagnosed. If that means employing more specialists in the NHS, then the Government should pledge to do this.

Those diagnosed with Parkinson's and their families should receive the support they need from the NHS and every area should have a dedicated Parkinson's nurse to help individuals and families through this difficult and debilitating disease. Parkinson's is a serious and life-threatening condition, yet the needs of its sufferers are often ignored. It is outrageous that the Government is doing so little to help those with Parkinson's."

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