Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist Service

What is Parkinson's?

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder. The main features are tremor, 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.

Who is affected?

Parkinson's affects all sorts of people. It is one of the most common neurological conditions affecting older people and most people are diagnosed over the age of 60 years.

A significant amount of younger people also develop Parkinson's and can still maintain a normal life expectancy. It is estimated that 1 in 20 people with Parkinson's is under 50 years old when diagnosed and 1 in 7 under 40 years old.

The Role of the Parkinson's Disease Nurse Specialist

  • Providing information for patients, families and carers from the time of diagnosis, enabling people to make informed choices in the management of their care.
  • Providing careful assessment of needs, ongoing support/advice and regular monitoring of the condition.
  • Developing effective and coordinated links between hospital, General Practitioners and other healthcare professionals for people with Parkinson's.
  • Helping patients understand their drug treatments; providing information, monitoring effectiveness, administration and addressing side effects.
  • Seeing patients in the clinic setting and when appropriate home visits.
  • Providing training and education based on current research to promote a wider understanding of Parkinson's disease.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of the service.

How can you use this service?

If you have a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease and you live in the Plymouth Community Healthcare area, with a Plymouth-based General Practitioner, then patients and carers can refer directly to the service by letter or telephone.

Referrals are also welcome from any members of health and social care teams, or Parkinson's UK. Any health care professional can access this service for advice.

The service is covered by two specialist nurses and uses postcodes to determine coverage.


Service leads: Dawn Hugill and Kate Bridgewater

First Floor
Beauchamp Centre
Mount Gould Hospital
Mount Gould Road
Plymouth PL4 7QD

Tel: 01752 434522 / 01752 434237 (office hours only)

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