Support our Fair Care for Parkinson's campaign

Steve FordIt was encouraging to see the coverage of our Fair Care for Parkinson's campaign last week. This followed the publication of the All Party Parliamentary Group's Inquiry into Parkinson's disease services. This was picked up by a number of radio stations, newspapers and online news

We launched the campaign in Parliament last Wednesday and were encouraged by the number of MPs and Lords who attended. Jim Henry, from Northern Ireland, and Brian Lymberry, from London, gave powerful presentations on their experiences of accessing health and social care.

Jim's powerful message compared the poor service he got for his Parkinson's with the comprehensive care given at the time he was diagnosed with diabetes.

Jim Henry is pictured right speaking at the parliamentary launch.

Brian highlighted how the failure to provide people with the necessary preventative care and support costs more in avoidable NHS treatment and social care support in the long run. So there is no excuse for the inequalities in services that people with Parkinson’s are experiencing.

In my talk, I made the point that we shouldn't be surprised that services are so poor for so many people. There are currently no effective mechanisms to make sure that local services meet national guidelines. So it will always be a lottery until the Governments of the UK give this a strong national focus.

That is why I asked Ann Keen, the Health Minister, to undertake a mid term review of the National Service Framework (NSF) for Long term neurological conditions for England. In 2010, the NSF will be halfway through its 10 year implementation so now is a perfect time for the Government to review progress and make sure that NHS and Social Care make this a priority.

Ann Keen said that she welcomed the inquiry and supports our campaign. I am looking forward to meeting with her to soon, to see what this really means in practice.

We want Fair Care for all people with Parkinson's and I want all members and supporters to help us get our message across by supporting our Fair Care for Parkinson's campaign. Visit

Steve Ford is Chief Executive of the Parkinson's Disease Society

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