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Mandatory training needed to improve Parkinson’s care, says charity

Survey highlights lack of awareness among healthcare staff over patients’ medication needs

Survey highlights lack of awareness among healthcare staff over patients’ medication needs

Parkinson's UK has called for mandatory training for healthcare professionals on the specific needs of patients with the condition, including bespoke medication regimens
More than two thirds of people with Parkinson’s do not get their medication on time in
hospital, the survey found Picture: iStock

A charity has called for nurses to receive mandatory training on Parkinson’s, after it found more than two thirds of people with the disease did not get their medication on time in hospital.

In a survey of 700 people with the disease, Parkinson’s UK found 79% of respondents did not get their medication on time. Of those, 78% said this had an impact on their health.

The charity also found that only 44% of hospital trusts had mandatory training on Parkinson’s for all members of staff working on wards; 19% of trusts and health boards only provide training when staff members request it.

Lack of awareness of Parkinson’s care

Parkinson’s nurse and Parkinson’s UK excellence network report lead Patsy Cotton said the report highlights a lack of awareness among hospital staff of the specific needs of those with the condition.

‘We need to ensure all healthcare professionals who engage with Parkinson’s patients have the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the needs of this complex condition, she said.

‘This will create and, with mandatory training, maintain a better standard of care for Parkinson’s patients across the UK.’

Parkinson's disease nurse specialist and RCN neuroscience forum member Vicky Queen backed the charity’s call for mandatory training on Parkinson’s for all hospital staff.

Bespoke medication regimens

Responding to the report’s findings, Ms Queen recommended nurses use a pill alarm to notify them when to administer medication.

Ms Queen said awareness of the need for specific drug times for patients with Parkinson’s was critical, as their regimen will not coincide with usual nursing drug rounds.

‘The medication time will be completely bespoke to the patient with Parkinson’s,’ she said. ‘It may have taken months to get that regime working, so it is crucial that the times are kept as they are.’


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