Parkinson's Academy: Education with impact

04 Oct 2023

The first to be published in this year's Education with impact series is for Parkinson's Academy, our longest running education programme.

‘Our participants are hands-on clinicians who want learning that helps them to help their patients, and each of this year's projects demonstrates this in action.

These workplace projects give a space for the MasterClass's challenging learning outcomes to change things at a grassroots level and then to keep changing them - and this is what makes a difference to people with Parkinson’s’.

Dr Peter Fletcher, academic director

Education with impact: Parkinson's

Download now (Education-with-impact-Parkinsons-2023.pdf)

The most common project in 2022-23 for Parkinson's was a complete review of services entirely, to ensure they are fit for purpose, and able to meet the complex needs of people with Parkinson's within the changing landscape of the NHS. One of the takeaway messages was therefore:

'With Parkinson's prevalence rising sharply and NHS services stretched, a review and reshape of services could be needed.' Examples in this report include:

  • Auditing current services to find out what is working well, and what could work better, then making a long-term plan like Glesni Davies or come up with a whole new way of working like Emily Scotney

  • Looking at ways to support patients without a specialist consultant or nurse like Christopher Dyer, such as increasing education and setting up a special interest group.'

'The astounding range of priorities being focused on really shows the complexity of Parkinson's and the determination of those caring for people with the condition to get things right, to treat their whole selves, and to give them the best experiences of healthcare as they can. Our delegates are an inspiration to us - and hopefully, through this report, they will be to you, as well.'

Daiga Heisters, head of Parkinson's Academy

Access to time-critical medication in Parkinson's is a priority for Parkinson's UK, the Parkinson's Excellence Network, and many Parkinson's specialists across the UK, and there are often projects dedicated to addressing this. This year saw three stand-out projects addressing this challenge in different ways, so one of the five takeaway messages was:

In hospital settings people with Parkinson's often do not get their medications on time. To improve timely access to medications in your hospital and reduce poor outcomes in patients, you could:

  • Use existing systems to flag patients and improve administration or monitoring of timely medication like Nick Bryden or add a virtual ward round like Kerri Ramsay

  • Replicate Moira Whitlock's 'Link nurse programme'

Find out more about all of these projects in the report and online, alongside over 200 other Parkinson's related projects.

'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.