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

The impact of COVID-19 on hospital admissions in People with Parkinson's Disease
By Dr Olushola Alonge, Consultant Geriatrician, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
Parkinson's Disease Service during COVID-19 Pandemic
By Dr Rachel Stewart, Consultant Geriatrician, NHS Borders
Impact of Covid19 on Inpatient Parkinson's liaison service
By Dr Sumara Aziz, ST7, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary
'The things you can't get from the books'

Parkinson's Academy, our original and longest running Academy, houses 19 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.