The West Berkshire COVID-19 Experience in Parkinson's patients

By Dr Nida Butt, Consultant, Royal Berkshire Hospital & Dr Thanuja Nanayakkara, Specialty Doctor Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Trust



To examine at the impact of the first wave of COVID-19 on Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients in West Berkshire and the movement disorders service.


  • During the first wave of the pandemic (March to August 2020) 52% of PD patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 died
  • Face-to-face appointments with the West Berkshire outpatient movement disorders service was suspended, leading the team to be more innovative – they provided consultation by telephone and NHS England Attend Anywhere software

Key findings

Electronic patient record data showed 25 patients had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, either in the community or upon admission to hospital, between March and August 2020.

  • Cough, shortness of breath, and fever were the most common presenting symptoms
  • Frailty markers such as functional dependence (n=18), falls (n=16), dementia (n=12), and dysphagia (n=5) indicated advanced PD
  • Procalcitonin levels, a biomarker for bacterial infection, were checked in eight patients. 17 received intravenous antibiotics
  • 56% required oxygen therapy, but none were escalated to level two/three care due to multiple co-morbidities and frailty
  • One patient was recruited to the RECOVERY trial
  • 52% (n=13) people died, 10 in hospital and three in their nursing homes


To review data from the second wave, in light of new COVID-19 treatments.

More Parkinson's Academy COVID-19 Projects

Loneliness and Social Isolation in people with Parkinson’s Disease during COVID-19 restrictions
By Dr Somaditya Bandyopadhyay, Staff Grade Physician (Geriatrics), Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
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 22 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.