by Dr Peter Fletcher
With the completion of MasterClasses 27 and 28, both in our new spiritual home of Sheffield, and as 2015 draws to a close, it is time to publish the Parkinson’s Academy in-house journal ‘Moving On’ once again. Since we launched the Academy with what we thought would be ‘the’ MasterClass in 2002, this year has probably seen more change than any previous.
Perhaps it was inevitable that as the success of the Parkinson’s Academy grew this model for delivering education to practitioners in other disease areas would be seen as desirable. So RED, which runs the Parkinson’s Academy is now renamed the Neurology Academy. Moreover it has in its stable the Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy and Dementia Academies as well as the Parkinson’s Academy. This is an enormous tribute to Sarah Gillett and her team and I just wonder what might be next on the horizon. I should add that the Parkinson’s Academy remains as popular as ever and is itself almost (but not quite!) fully booked for MC29A and MC30F should you have interested colleagues.
Hang on! Where did the suffixes ‘A’ and ‘F’ come from? Over the years we have tried different ways of serving the needs of our participants. We have discovered that the most effective way of streaming them is on the basis of experience rather than by way of profession or specialty. For those experienced the ‘A’ stands for Advanced, those higher up the Bloom’s taxonomy I wrote about last year. They are already knowledgeable about all things PD and working at the level of application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation – service development in other words; practice at an advanced level hence ‘A’ for the MasterClasses attended by colleagues in that position. Meanwhile there are those that need knowledge, understanding and ideally a meander into the foothills of application. This lays the foundation for routine practice hence the ‘F’, Foundation also being a term widely used in education and very familiar in doctor and nurse education.
What has not changed this year is the drift away from the national audit for the projects carried out by participants in the Advanced MasterClass. I commend to you all of this year’s contributions and our four finalists’ work which you can find by clicking here. Themes evolve year on year. This year’s projects centre first on drugs – get them on time but also their problems, for example managing impulse control disorders. The second recurring theme was around bone health in people with PD – essentially what are we waiting for, this is a high-risk group regarding falls, osteoporosis and fractures. I guess we hope that with the enormous success of orthogeriatric practice within our trauma units the structures may already be in place to achieve this. Move sideways though and reflect on the third theme to emerge, what happens to our PD patients when in other surgical environments, those where geriatrician review is not routine. Perioperative care is a growing area of interest within the British Geriatrics Society (BGS) and it cannot come soon enough for people with Parkinson’s undergoing even routine operations let alone emergency surgery.
Perhaps audit has moved on too. The BGS Movement Disorder’s Section (BGSMDS) led the development of the PD audit tool, basically following the lead of stroke and then orthogeriatrics. There was enormous support from the Parkinson’s Disease Society and colleagues from the Association of British Neurologists (ABN), Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist Association (PDNSA) and therapy groups were quick and keen to collaborate. It has now settled into the same sort of national two cycle as stroke (which is now in its third decade – something to aspire to!).
Yet PD has moved on further, with Parkinson’s UK’s launch of the Excellence Network in February 2015. This is precisely what it says on the tin; the promotion of excellence by bringing together clinicians in networks; in regional localities on the one hand and in crosscutting themes (research, education etc) on the other. Dr Rob Skelly lead for the East Midlands group, was one of our audit facilitators on MC27.2 last month and updated us on the Network’s progress. See also here.
Our two other audit facilitators were equally well connected (important role modeling for our proto-specialist participants’ aspirations). Robin Fackrell from Bath is on the NICE guidelines development group (for PD) and was able to update us on their rigorous work.
Richard Genever from Chesterfield is current chair of the BGSMDS, arguably the most active and certainly the longest lived Special Interest Group/Section of the BGS. Alongside colleagues from the ABN and PDNSA, Richard leads our annual update day in Birmingham on 28 and 29 January 2016. Further details can be found here.
Read on. I hope you enjoy this edition’s content.
To see the full newsletter ‘Moving On’ click here