Time-critical medication picked up by national press

21 Sept 2023

Timely access to medication during in-patient stays for people with Parkinson's is essential - and an ongoing challenge for many hospitals across the UK. Evidence suggests that in hospital settings, people with Parkinson's often do not get their medications on time with anywhere up to 120 minute delays in administration. This results in worsening symptoms, longer stays, poorer outcomes and greater demand on services following that episode.

Parkinson's UK and the Parkinson's Excellence Network (PEN) have been campaigning hard for many years to raise the profile of the importance of time-critical medication, initially targeting wards with the Get it on Time campaign. More recently, the PEN has been working a top-down and bottom-up approach simultaneously, as Dr Jonny Acheson told us last November.

Their work has got the attention of the national press, with the Independent running a story on Monday 18th September.

Whilst the story highlights challenges being faced and the importance of addressing this, there was a lack of examples of how to do this. So we thought we'd point you in the direction of some brilliant projects carried out by some of the delegates from past Parkinson's MasterClasses which have used different methods to address this challenge in their patch.

  • Dr Kerri Ramsay set up electronic alerts for when a person with Parkinson's is admitted and a virtual ward round to support them and have oversight of their medications
  • Specialist nurse Nick Bryden worked with digital services and pharmacy to set up monitoring, visual prompts and alerts for overdue medications using two existing electronic systems
  • Moira Whitlock, also a specialist nurse, initiated a 'Link nurse' programme, upskilling ward nurses in Parkinson's to advocate for their timely medications and communicate with the Parkinson's team.

You can find other ideas and ways to address timely medication access on our projects page - we'd love to encourage you to take steps in your local hospital if this is a challenge you face. You can also keep a look out for our Education with Impact reports from last year's MasterClasses, coming in October.

'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.