Parkinson’s is a progressive, neurological disorder characterised by tremors, muscle stiffness and slower movements but can also involve non motor symptoms such as anxiety, depression, sleep issues and constipation. The condition occurs when a small group of nerve cells in the brain no longer produce enough dopamine. This is a chemical that transmits messages from the brain to other parts of the body, enabling people to perform smooth, coordinated movements. Parkinson’s affects all kinds of people but is most common in those over the age of 60. Around one-in-twenty people under 50 is diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
This service is designed to help meet the needs of people in the Plymouth area who are living with Parkinson’s and related disorders. Referrals can be made via a Plymouth-based GP service, but are also welcome from members of health and social care teams. Our referral inclusion and exclusion criteria is below:
Inclusion: Over 18 years old
- Confirmed diagnosis of Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, Multi-system atrophy, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and Cortical Basal Degeneration.
- Lives within the Plymouth area and is registered with a Plymouth GP.
- Willing to engage with Parkinson’s service.
- Lewy Body dementia
- Vascular Parkinsonism
- Alzheimer’s disease
The service is delivered by two specialist and experienced Livewell Southwest nurses, in conjunction with the wider Plymouth Parkinson’s specialist network. There are various care pathways available to ensure individual needs are met. For example, those that are newly diagnosed and the Home based Care pathway for those that want to take more control of managing their condition.
The role of the community Parkinson’s nurse specialist is to provide people with information about the condition, ensure that the person is on their optimal treatment plan, to help enable them and their families to make informed choices about their care, and to signpost to other agencies when needed. Both Parkinson’s nurse specialists are non-medical prescribers with strong links to the research community.
For further information on the Parkinson’s Nurse Service, please contact 01752 434237 / 434522, or email [email protected]. The Specialist Parkinson’s Nurses work Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.
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