A nursing service specialising in the care of patients with Parkinson’s have shared the team’s ambitions – including its plans to expand the service.
As it marks World Parkinson’s Day on 11 April, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will be recruiting for a new nursing role.
The new role for a Parkinson’s specialist nurse, funded by Parkinson’s UK for an initial two-year period, is part of the charity’s commitment to helping people who have the fastest growing neurological condition with around 145,000 people in the UK with it.
Parkinson’s, a condition which develops when brain cells that make dopamine start to die, has more than 40 symptoms including tremors and anxiety.
Some are treatable through medication but the condition does worsen over time, with no cure.
Gill Stafford, a specialist nurse at Trust for eight years, said: “Caring for people with Parkinson’s is challenging but incredibly rewarding.
“This new role shows our commitment to doing more to help people with Parkinson’s.
“There is a need across the country to improve early diagnosis. The amount of patients we treat is expected to increase by 20% by 2030 – so the need to expand the service.
“This role will we can help more patients, make earlier interventions, care for more patients across the community in their own homes and support their loves ones.”
300 nurse posts funded
Since 1996 the Parkinson’s Excellence Network, funded by Parkinson’s UK, has funded more than 300 specialist nurse posts across the UK for two years – helping to develop and support the creation of these roles.
This year the network has also expanded its funding to allied health professional roles including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists.
Gill added: “Having these specialist roles means we can help people earlier and set care plans more quickly – reducing bed stays and hospital admissions, meaning our patients can be at home with their loves ones.
“We have so many plans for the future, including plans for specialist training for new staff around how to help patients.
“It is vital, as we mark this awareness day, that we continue doing more to help people with Parkinson’s – as we as a service are passionate in doing so.”