Parkinson’s Foundation MasterClass – evaluated

24 Oct 2019

Our latest Parkinson’s MasterClass had over fifty delegates in attendance! Our 37th course to date, let’s hear about the highlights and how we can improve from the people who were there.

In general

‘I have come away with a much better understanding of almost all aspects of PD. Everyone [was] very enthusiastic which rubbed off on me. Really looking forward to the Advanced course.’

‘I will certainly take lots back from over the past 2 days and apply [it] to my practice to continue to improve practice, and will certainly consider the Advanced course in the future.’

‘Really enjoyed the course which was very interesting and informative and met my needs of improving [my] knowledge of PD.’

The teaching

Keywords like ‘passionate’, ‘informative’, ‘inspirational’ and ‘knowledgeable’ peppered evaluation forms, and it was clear that every faculty member had packed their session to bursting with information.

Everyone enjoyed different elements of the course and found value in a wide variety of aspects, but consistently the ‘interactive’ nature of almost every session delivered, combined with multimedia presentations, were enjoyed by all, and maximised people’s learning experience.

  • ‘I liked the interaction and involvement with audience and videos.’
  • ‘Made me think outside the box, very informative.’
  • ‘Excellent – great scene setting.’
  • ‘Brilliant use of case-studies.’

Impact on services in practice

As always, our end goal is for the education and support we provide to directly impact the services and support experienced by those living with Parkinson’s. Will this course do that?

  • ‘It will make me evaluate my own clinical and assessment skills.’
  • ‘Very relevant – will change my practice, exactly what I wanted from the course, to have an examination template.’
  • ‘10 top tips’ [on ‘early treatment options’] very useful and will take back to use in my own practice.’
  • ‘Will change my practice, will now seek out relatives of patients I have been involved with who died offering sympathy and an opportunity for a ‘debrief’.’ (following session on Palliative care)
  • ‘Nil by mouth – very informative and made me think of alternative planning and education of other PD professionals and patients.’ (on session ‘Inpatients with Parkinson’s)
  • ‘Interesting because we don’t see many people with invasive or surgical options. I feel more confident in discussing it now.’ (following session on late-stage disease)

Comments on some of the sessions

The opening ‘scene setting’ session was covered by Dr Lara Teare who was described as ‘Very, very knowledgeable: a good and interesting speaker who helped me understand the subjects better. Also the genetic parts and why we would test was brill.’ Some delegates struggled to keep up with the element on genetics whilst others found it the highlight of the talk.

Dr Sarah Marrinan’s session in differential diagnosis was highly enjoyed for its interaction, videos and game that she wove in-delegates reported feeling equipped:

‘I felt like I had great tools to use in clinic for diagnosis.’

Dr James Fisher’s session on ‘early treatment options’ was ‘well delivered and evidence-based’; an ‘Excellent review of evidence to help understand why we use and when we should start the medications.

Another delegate said:

‘Thank you for such a great lecture on the evidence and management, easy to understand and digest.’.

Professor Richard Walker’s was a ‘Great session, informative hearing other people’s experience and approaches’ regarding advance care planning and palliative care. A number of delegates described it as ‘thought-provoking’, and ‘very informative.’

Dr Ross Dunne ‘Really knew his stuff’ and was described as an ‘Engaging presenter which was needed for a complex but interesting area in PD’ for his session on neuropsychiatric complications in Parkinson’s.

Areas for improvement

A couple of attendees noted the lack of a specialist nurses speaker at this particular course, and felt that there was ‘a lot around social care, psychological support and practical management which was not covered’ as a result, as well as a gap in ‘nursing and the role in management’ of Parkinson’s patients that this left.

We usually tend toward a more open layout with fewer tables and more space between delegates for interaction. Unfortunately this affected a number of delegate’s experiences as, with more delegates choosing to take notes electronically rather than with the clipboards provided, a number fed back that it was notably harder to take notes during the sessions without tables, and ‘left us uncomfortable by the end of the day’.

We are always keen to improve the courses we offer, whether in terms of content or comfort and we will be altering our room layout in future courses to allow for the growing number of delegates using tablets and laptops to record notes.

Future courses

These MasterClasses always fill up remarkably quickly with our next Foundation course in September 2020 already with 13 applications. If you are interested in a Parkinson’s MasterClass, or any of our other courses, visit for more information.

'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.