The trust is leading the way for Parkinson’s patients by launching a new tool kit to help improve the care they receive across all NHS services.
Consultant Neil Archibald and his colleagues have developed a new system that will give everyone from GPs to hospital staff an at a glance guide to the best healthcare route for each patient as well as essential information to ensure they get the correct advice and medication.
The integrated care pathway is the first of its kind in the country to be fully implemented for Parkinson’s disease and has been developed in partnership with Neurological Commissioning Support and Parkinson’s UK.
Health professionals can access the whole system via a computer or can simply use the section most relevant to their service as a handy quick-reference guide. It also contains a useful who’s who guide that can be shared with patients.
It is hoped its introduction will have a huge impact on the way patients are diagnosed, referred, treated and signposted to other services by ensuring:
- All patients with significant Parkinson’s disease are referred to a specialist as soon as possible
- Medication is delivered more effectively in hospitals
- Access to other services such as physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and palliative care is improved
Dr Archibald said: “We currently treat about 1,200 Parkinson’s patients at the trust and we believe this new pathway will really make a difference to people.
“When a patient with Parkinson’s is admitted to hospital for whatever reason they should be referred to the Parkinson’s team within 24 hours.
“But this is also about empowering patients so they know who is looking after them and that they can self-refer.”
The pathway is available on the trust website – click here to access the Parkinson’s ICP – as well as being sent out to all trust clinical centres and local GPs.