"Fair Care for Parkinson's" say local MP

July 10, 2009 3:36 PM

Mark is supporting the The Parkinson's Disease Society's "Fair Care for Parkinson's" campaign

Mark Hunter, MP for Cheadle constituency, this week signed up to support the findings of an inquiry by the Parkinson's All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), of which Mr Hunter is a member, which calls on the Government to tackle inequalities in access to health and social care for Parkinson's sufferers.

The Parkinson's disease society's 'Fair Care for Parkinson's' campaign launched the new report "Please mind the gap: Parkinson's disease services today" which is the culmination of an inquiry by the APPG (a group of MPs from all parties) looking at the availability of services across the country both for sufferers and their carers. The report found that there were major inequalities across the UK, with many areas lacking access to Parkinson's nurse specialists, therapy and deep brain stimulation services, respite care and information provision. They also found there was a poor understanding of Parkinson's disease among many professionals and a lack of integrated working between health and social care. "Mind the Gap" calls for the Department of Health to hold a five-year progress review of the Parkinson's services, for stronger national leadership on the issue and better planning of services so that they are easily accessible and 'joined up'.

Mr Hunter, who is an officer of the APPG and the President of the Stockport Parkinson's Group, attended the launch and supported the campaign by signing a special parliamentary motion (1821) calling for the recommendations of the report to be introduced.

Speaking after launch of the campaign Mr Hunter said, "It's clear that there is a real crisis with Parkinson's's services. Someone living in our area won't have access to the same services as someone living in London - it's a postcode lottery. Every sufferer should have access to the specialist treatment they need and to a Parkinson's nurse specialist, and that why I campaigned for one at Stepping Hill. Our campaign was successful, but many other areas just aren't. The Government desperately needs to review where services are available and fill in the gaps.

"It's just not good enough that health and social services professionals can't communicate to get the patient the support and treatment they need. We need a more joined up approach to tackling Parkinson's - when the different services don't work together, it's the patients and the carers that suffer. We need strong leadership from the centre to force improvements, and fast."

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