by Suma Surendranath
2016 has been an important year for the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network with major activities taking place across the UK, all working to transform services for people affected by Parkinson’s.
It started with a bang as the Excellence Network became a major sponsor of BritMODIS which saw neurologists, geriatricians and Parkinson’s nurses come together to discuss key issues and challenges in the management of movement disorders. The work of the Network in driving local service improvement was showcased by Excellence Network working group leads Andrea Lindahl, Biju Mohamed and Camille Carroll who all presented key activities within their regions.
This year also saw the launch of the eagerly anticipated results of the 2015 UK Parkinson’s Audit. This presented the most complete picture to date of the state of Parkinson’s care in the UK with participation from 432 services and the collation of direct feedback from over 5,000 people with Parkinson’s and their carers. The Audit revealed examples of great care but also key priorities for change with the need for:
- Access to a full multidisciplinary team – only 13% of those who took part in the Audit offer a fully integrated service.
- Timely provision of patient information – only 65% of respondents felt they received enough information on diagnosis.
- Addressing issues with inpatient management – less than 50% of those admitted to hospital always got their Parkinson’s medication at the right time.
- Consistent use of standardised assessments – around 40% of people were not assessed for blood pressure, pain and bone health in neurology services.
- Anticipatory care planning – only 28% of those with markers of advanced Parkinson’s had any recorded discussion of end of life care issues.
- Better management of falls and infections
These priorities have helped shape the Network’s current activities with the regional working groups coordinating work to address these challenges – more information about their progress will be disseminated next year.
The Excellence Network is also keen to recognise great practice and this autumn has seen the launch of the first Excellence Network Awards. Not only do these intend to celebrate quality services, there is also a commitment to learn from these teams and work with them to share their practice more widely so that more services can benefit. The Awards ceremony will take place as part of the Positive Steps in Parkinson’s event taking place in March 2017.
In addition, the Excellence Network has supported making better practice happen on the ground with:
- Provision of quality education relevant to all professional groups (including the Foundation modules for health and social care staff which was recently recognised by the Royal College of Nursing)
- Service improvement grants to support local innovations
- Dissemination of resources including the managing mental health and avoiding unnecessary admissions interactive resources (developed directly by the Excellence Network community), the non-oral pathway and the OPTIMAL guideline and conversion calculator (the most accessed resource available from the Excellence Network resource directory)
- Keeping the whole Excellence Network community up-to-date with what’s happening in Parkinson’s through the monthly newsletter.
2016 has seen the Excellence Network come together to identify its key priorities and take direct action to address them. We look forward to promoting the impact of these endeavours in 2017 at parkinsons.org.uk/excellencenetwork.
But the Excellence Network is your network. By sharing your practice and the tools you have developed in your local services, we can all stop reinventing the wheel and move forward together to provide people with Parkinson’s the care they deserve. Contact the Excellence Network team at Parkinson’s UK at firstname.lastname@example.org to share what you are doing and play your part in transforming services for everyone affected by Parkinson’s across the UK.
Suma Surendranath, Professional Engagement Programme Manager, Parkinson’s UK