While the past year continued to be challenging for the Parkinson’s and other Movement Disorders HIT, with COVID-19 pandemic priorities affecting our plans, we have been able to make improvements to our services.
We worked with the North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) informatics team to understand the number of people with Parkinson’s who are admitted to the trust on a yearly basis and were able to map out the areas that our patients get admitted to. This information was useful as it enabled us to target our resources to improve care and experience of our patients when they are in hospital. We have learnt that over 1,000 people with Parkinson’s are admitted to NBT in a year.
We are pleased to see that there are now Parkinson’s nurses/practitioners working in the community across all areas of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG). This is an important step towards preventing hospital admissions and offering personalised care for patients within their social settings.
To help reduce hospital admissions further, NBT Movement Disorder Neurologists have established a weekly supervision teleconference with the community Parkinson’s Nurses/Practitioners in BNSSG to help provide support on care plans.
Also, the NBT and Bristol Royal Infirmary consultants with Parkinson’s expertise have together developed guidance for GPs on community management of Parkinson’s complications and swallowing problems. This is now available on the Remedy website.
We have also managed to secure a funded post for a highly specialised Movement Disorder Physiotherapist who is now working in the Bristol Brain Centre. We are grateful for their expertise as they will help in establishing the NBT Movement Disorder Neurophysiotherapy Service.
We continue to find ways to ensure that Parkinson’s care is improved locally, regionally and nationally. The following clinics have been established to provide new support for patients:
a regional Atypical Parkinsonism service with monthly Consultant and Specialist Nurse clinics.
- a regional Adult Complex Dystonia clinic
- three new weekly Specialist PD Nurse clinics
- weekly Movement Disorder Neuro-pharmacist clinic.
To ensure that good practice is shared across the region and beyond, we have continued to be involved in providing lectures and educational talks at national and international meetings, including but not limited to: DBS Nurse Association Conference, Parkinson’s Academy, post-registration Neuroscience Nursing and Parkinson’s courses (BSc / MSc modules), Duodopa Network meetings.
Our research workstream continues to be busy, with at least nine papers being published in 2021 and 11 active research grants for researchers connected to the HIT. There is a good pipeline of new studies developing in areas such as imaging and sleep research. A particular highlight was participating in a Brain Centre Research symposium on 11 June 2021 where relevant Movement Disorders research was shared with a mixed audience of academics, health and care professionals and patients.