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Parkinson's Disease: Health Services

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 77563, tabled on 21 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of access to specialised neurology services during the covid-19 outbreak for advanced Parkinson’s patients; and what steps he is taking to resume those services.

Answered on

1 September 2020

Figures on the number of neurology appointments delayed or cancelled and the number of Parkinson’s patients who have experienced a deterioration on their condition are not available, and no specific assessment of the adequacy of access to specialised neurology services during the COVID-19 outbreak for advanced Parkinson’s patients has been made.

Early in the pandemic NHS England and NHS Improvement advised in-person consultations “should only take place when absolutely necessary”. Providers have been rolling out remote consultations using video, telephone, email and text message services as a priority, including for those with neurological conditions.

To support the delivery of high-quality services for patients with neurological conditions during the pandemic, the Association of British Neurologists (ABN) published a range of guidance in this important area. NHS England and NHS Improvement have also provided advice on prioritisation for community services during the pandemic which set out how to meet the needs of people with neurological conditions like Parkinson’s safely and effectively. The guidance can be found at the following links:

Furthermore, the ABN has now published specific guidance on recommencing neurology services in the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, including those for people suffering with Parkinson’s disease. This guidance contains assessments on which services and patients require urgent prioritisation, taking into account the severity and onset of symptoms. This is available at the following link: