Half the number of recommended Parkinson’s nurses in NHS Lothian

Lothian MSP Miles Briggs is today leading a debate in the Scottish Parliament on Parkinson’s in Scotland.

In NHS Lothian there are 3 full time nurses covering the whole of Lothian, in NHS Lothian there is an estimated population of nearly 1,800 people with Parkinson’s meaning nearly 600 people per nurse. The recommended number of Parkinson’s nurses is one for every 300 Parkinson’s patients per nurse is, so in Lothian Parkinson’s nurses have about double the maximum caseload that Parkinson’s UK in Scotland would recommend.

Many people with Parkinson’s across Lothian are facing major issues in accessing the care they need due to overstretched local NHS and social care services.

In Scotland the number of people with a Parkinson’s diagnosis is expected to increase by 40% in the next 20 years, meaning that the number of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s will increase to over 2,500 people.

The Parkinson UK’s “ People. Parkinson’s. Scotland” report, backed by leading clinicians, makes 13 recommendations that need urgent action if Scotland is to meet the health and social care needs of the growing Parkinson’s population. The report makes key recommendations across a range of areas including good practice in multi-disciplinary teams, mental health teams, self-management, enabling technological innovation and anticipatory care planning.

Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative Lothian MSP, said:

“In NHS Lothian there are three excellent Parkinson’s nurses who do an incredible job of looking after people with Parkinson’s every day.

“Ensuring that we have an adequate number of Parkinson’s nurses in Lothian and all parts of Scotland must be a priority.

“I am continuing to call for a review of all specialist nurse provision in Scotland so that we can ensure we can plan for the future and put in place the number of nurse specialists we need.

“Parkinson UK’s report clearly states that Scotland is not currently providing the level and quality of services and support every person with Parkinson’s deserves.”