How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected patients with Parkinson's Disease in Brighton and Hove?

By Dr Kate O'Shea, ST5 Geriatric Medicine, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust



To gain a broad overview of how patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in the Brighton and Hove area have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and use this data to guide the future of the service.


  • The PD service at BSUH is split into two groups: younger patients with movement disorders looked after by the local neurology team; and the 600-700 frail, multimorbid, advanced patients who are cared for by geriatricians
  • The impact of the pandemic was less than expected among this older group
  • However, those who reported minimal impact were often wealthier, while those living in less affluent areas reported a higher impact
  • Most patients would, in future, like a choice between face-to-face and telephone appointments
  • BSUH PD nurses appear to be underused in this patient cohort

Key findings

Twenty people with PD and average age of 80.9 took part in a telephone survey.

  • half said the single biggest impact of the pandemic was not being able to get out
  • 40% said their exercise regime had significantly reduced
  • the mean quality of life score dropped from 7.6 before the outbreak to 6.5 at the time of the interview
  • no one reported significant problems accessing their prescriptions
  • two contracted SARS-CoV-2, both were admitted to hospital and have subsequently fully recovered
  • six would prefer face-to-face consultations due to hearing difficulties on the phone


The team will look at how best to offer a choice of face-to-face and virtual appointments as well as do more promote the presence of PD nurses among this patient group

More Parkinson's Academy COVID-19 Projects

Loneliness and Social Isolation in people with Parkinson’s Disease during COVID-19 restrictions
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How has covid 19 affected community services for patients with Parkinson’s disease in the Wakefield area?
By Dr Rebecca Burns, Consultant Care of the Elderly, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
'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.