Calls for government-led training in Parkinson's dementia

24 Jul 2023

Neurology Academy has joined Parkinson's UK and Alzheimer's Society in writing an open letter to the secretary of state for health and social care to fund training in Parkinson’s-related dementia for healthcare professionals in England.

Parkinson's UK research shows that only 14% of health professionals feel they have sufficient training in Parkinson's-related dementia, with 60% saying they need more training - yet 10% of people with Parkinson's will experience Parkinson's-related dementia at some point. This is resulting in health and social care that does not always meet the needs of people with Parkinson's and their families - and healthcare professionals not feeling confident that they are providing the best care.

A health professional responding to a recent Parkinson's UK survey said:

'Working in a generalist team, dementia diagnoses can sometimes be classed as just dementia. Training specifically on effects of Lewy body and diagnosis process would be relevant.'

Neurology Academy wholeheartedly agree with Gini Dellow, senior policy and campaigns adviser at Parkinson's UK, when she says of this need:

'Everything starts with training and education… If [healthcare professionals] haven’t received the right education and training and don’t understand the difference between Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s-related dementia, then the end result is that the person does not receive high-quality care.'

We sincerely hope that consistent access to funded training in Parkinson's-related dementia will become available to all healthcare professionals as a result of this open letter. In the meantime, any healthcare professional can access our free, virtual course, Lewy Body Bitesize, specifically providing short-form virtual education for Lewy body dementia and Parkinson's disease dementia.

'I will be hyper-aware of [the diagnostic challenges] now, thank you!'

delegate on Lewy Body Bitesize

The 8-15 minute virtual sessions cover diagnosis, and both non-pharmacological and pharmacological management of different symptoms across cognitive, neuropsychiatric, autonomic and motor domains.

(For anyone looking for more in-depth education in Lewy body and Parkinson's disease dementias, our next Lewy Body MasterClass is open for registration.)

'The things you can't get from the books'

Parkinson's Academy, our original and longest running Academy, houses 20 years of inspirational projects, resources, and evidence for improving outcomes for people with Parkinson's. Led by co-founder and educational director Dr Peter Fletcher, the Academy has a truly collegiate feel and prides itself on delivering 'the things you can't get from books' - a practical learning model which inspires all Neurology Academy courses.