Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder characterised by tremors, muscle stiffness and slower movements. 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 Community Healthcare area who are living with Parkinson’s disease. Referrals can be made via a Plymouth-based GP service, but are also welcome from members of health and social care teams, or third sector partners like Parkinson’s UK. It is delivered by two specialist Livewell Southwest nurses.
The role of a Parkinson’s disease nurse specialist is to provide people with information about the condition from the date of diagnosis, to help enable them and their families to make informed choices about their care, and how it is managed. They also provide needs assessments on an ongoing basis, and help to develop effective links between the person’s local hospital, GP practice and other support services.
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For general enquiries, or to be directed to a specific service or individual, please contact our switchboard on 01752 268011.