Helping us understand Parkinson’s

Members of the Parkinson's Forum (L-R): Clare Hewitt, Parkinson's UK information and support worker, Ray McIntosh, Community Dietitian with the Community Rehabilitation Team, Louise Jarvis, Parkinson's Nurse Specialist, Debbie Soave, Neurophysiotherapist, Susie Davidson, Physiotherapist with the Community Rehabilitation Team, Nikki Greenwood, Occupational Therapist with the Community Rehabilitation Team.
Members of the Parkinson's Forum (L-R): Clare Hewitt, Parkinson's UK information and support worker, Ray McIntosh, Community Dietitian with the Community Rehabilitation Team, Louise Jarvis, Parkinson's Nurse Specialist, Debbie Soave, Neurophysiotherapist, Susie Davidson, Physiotherapist with the Community Rehabilitation Team, Nikki Greenwood, Occupational Therapist with the Community Rehabilitation Team.

EXPERTS in the treatment of people with Parkinson’s disease have been out in force in a bid to raise awareness of the illness as part of a national campaign.

Louise Jarvis, Parkinson’s nurse specialist at the DGH, and the hospital’s community rehabilitation team were available to answer questions and give advice at a special stand in the Arndale Centre as the town marked Parkinson’s Awareness Week.

They also held a question and answer afternoon at the Eastbourne Parkinson’s Group.

Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system and the number of people getting the disease or forms of it in the UK is increasing due to the aging population – with more than 125,000 sufferers already in the UK.

That number is anticipated to rise to more than 160,000 by 2020 and, with Eastbourne having more than its fair share of elderly people among its population, Parkinson’s is a very serious problem in East Sussex.

It is a very complex disorder which medical care alone cannot treat. In fact, treatment involves a array of health professionals working together.

In Eastbourne, a Parkinson’s forum group, made up of specialists from a number of different disciplines, meets up every six weeks to join all the professional networks together to enable them to provide the best care possible for local people.

The group includes a community occupation therapist, hospital and community neurophysiotherapist, dietitian, community matrons, speech and language therapist, information and support worker from Parkinson’s UK, palliative care specialist and Parkinson’s nurse specialist.

It looks at best practice and guidelines to identify any barriers to people with Parkinson’s and ways to improve community care for people with the disorder.

The group formed a Parkinson’s clinic this year along with the community rehabilitation service at Firwood House in Eastbourne which specifically invites patients requiring reviews who may have more complex problems needing expert views from the multi disciplinary team.

Two Parkinson’s nurse clinics are run at Eastbourne District General Hospital and new clinics at Crowborough War Memorial Hospital are set to start where patients can be referred via their GP.

For more information on the symptoms, or what support is available, visit www.parkinsons.org.uk.