Dr Alan Whone, Director of the Parkinson's and Other Movement Disorders Health Integration Team (MOVE HIT), gives an update on the HIT's progress in 2014-15.
The Bristol Brain Centre at Southmead Hospital opens in May 2015, following a big fundraising push. This will be the home of the clinical care and research facility for Parkinson’s and other movement disorders at North Bristol Trust, along with dementia and multiple sclerosis. This provides the hub for our hub and spoke model for Parkinson’s services across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) and will enable full integration of holistic service provision with clinical research. Our patient and public involvement group was consulted and has influenced the design and furnishings of the centre.
As well as clinic space, the centre has a Parkinson’s information support room staffed by Parkinson’s UK and trained patients, and a gym for physical rehabilitation and self-management classes. There is a day-case unit for advanced therapies such as deep brain stimulation and brain infusions of experimental nerve growth factor (GDNF) for Parkinson’s. Our charity appeal part-funded this centre, with fundraising and events led by our local Parkinson’s population.
We have the results of our audit of BNSSG Parkinson’s service provision from Neurological Commissioning Support. The audit showed that though professionals are delivering a high standard of care, there is a need for support at a strategic level and greater joined up working across our region if we are to remove disparities and achieve key performance indicators.
The next step is to develop a fully integrated Parkinson’s pathway, accessible to professionals, including GPs, online. This will not only signpost services, but will include evidence based recommendations and literature, guidelines and referral details. Commissioners from North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, along with the Chief Executive of Parkinson’s UK, attended our launch meeting for the pathway project and working groups are underway.
Our research programme aims to improve quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s. It has two arms. The first aims to address unmet symptom needs, ‘helping people with Parkinson’s live better today’. The results of the ReSPonD trial, evaluating the effect of Rivastigmine on gait in Parkinson’s, will be released later this year. The other arm addresses unmet neuro-protective and neuro-restorative needs, ‘giving people with Parkinson’s hope for the future’. Our internationally awaited trial assessing whether monthly brain infusions of GDNF can restore neurones and reverse Parkinson’s, has just completed recruitment with 42 subjects having undergone novel neurosurgery.
We are looking forward to the year ahead, as our hub gets up and running and our trials begin to yield results.