Commissioning better care for people with Parkinson's

The way services for health and social care services are commissioned will be transformed in the next few years, with GPs taking on this responsibility.

We want the professionals who are commissioning services now, and in the future, to make the best possible decisions for people with Parkinson's, and other long-term neurological conditions, so that they and their families have the best possible care.

This week saw the launch of a new tool for those responsible for commissioning health and social care services. It helps them understand the needs of people with long-term neurological conditions – specifically Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease.

Neuronavigator offers commissioners support and information on how best to commission services for long-term neurological conditions, including support on costings for these services.

It's part of Neurological Commissioning Support (NCS), which is a joint initiative between us, the MS Society and the MND Association. We work alongside PCTs and local authorities to ensure people living with long-term conditions have access to the services and support they need.

Tell us your experiences of Parkinson's care? What do you think the priorities for commissioners looking at long-term neurological conditions should be?

Add your comments below or email us on

Comprehensive Spending Review - your views

Tomorrow at 12.30pm the Chancellor, George Osbourne, will announce the results of the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review.

With public finances in a poor state, the spending review will outline details of which government departments will need to cut their spending and by how much.

We have real concerns on how government cuts might impact on people with Parkinson's and the level of care and support they receive. Access to benefits, NHS spending and research funding are among the top priorities of things we feel passionately about and want to see protected wherever possible.

If you're affected by Parkinson's, which areas of government spending do you most want to see protected? Are you concerned about what spending cuts might mean to your local Parkinson's services and support?

Discuss your views and concerns here this week as details of the review are outlined.

If you want to find our more about the Comprehensive Spending Review and what it means to people with Parkinson's, email

Update 20 October 2010

You can now read our response to the Chancellor's spending announcements and what they could mean for people affected by Parkinson's.

What did you think of today's announcements? How will they impact you? Share your concerns and views below.

Keep on running

This week's extraordinary rescue mission of the trapped miners in Chile has captured the world's imagination and left everyone feeling very inspired.

It's hard to imagine just how difficult it must have been for the 33 miners stranded half a mile underground. The images of the survivors surfacing to an emotional reunion with loved ones after 70 days being trapped, goes to show the incredible lengths that the human spirit will endure in the face of adversity.

Amongst the survivors was Edison Pena, who earned himself the nickname 'the runner'. According to reports, Edison coped with the ordeal by running up to 10km every day up and down the mines.

Running is proven to lift the mood, help the mind to focus and give people a sense of purpose and achievement. So it's no surprise that Edison found solace in running to get him through such testing conditions.

A real inspiration. And talking of running in the dark…

If you're feeling spurred on by Edison's efforts, why not consider signing up to the Parkinson's 10K Spooky Sprint?

Taking place on 30 October, at the National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham, the Halloween-themed run will take place in the evening (all runners will be provide with a free head torch!).

All money raised will support our vital work and help improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson's. Get in touch with our Events team at for more information on how to get involved. Or you can register online.

Our plan to find a cure for Parkinson's

Last week, the global Parkinson's community gathered in Glasgow for the World Parkinson Congress (WPC). All our staff, members and supporters who attended returned home feeling more motivated than ever towards finding a cure and improving life for everyone with Parkinson's.

Paul Jackson Clark, our Director of Fundraising, said: "It was a really inspiring week and as an organisation we received lots of positive feedback from people from across the world.

"But I thought that the most inspirational speakers were the people with Parkinson's. They were able to say more in a couple of minutes about what it's really like to live with Parkinson's and the urgent need for our work, than most scientists did in an hour."

One of our members said: "We felt so comforted by the whole community and the amount of work being done to find a cure. It was incredibly inspiring."

Another of our members, who has Parkinson's, commented on our Facebook page: "I feel re-energised and more positive than ever regarding a cure for us all. Please let's not lose the impetus. Lets all band together as one voice. We are never alone. One day, we might say: 'I used to have Parkinson's'."

We also took the opportunity last week to launch our ambitious new research strategy at the WPC. We hope that the strategy will push our search for a cure for Parkinson's to a new level. Watch our video featuring people with Parkinson's, researchers and clinicians talking about why a Parkinson's cure can't wait.

If you were at the World Parkinson Congress, we'd love to hear your feedback. Even if you weren't in Glasgow, we’d like to hear your thoughts on the congress and our exciting new research strategy.

And if you haven't signed the global Parkinson's pledge yet, it only takes a few seconds and will help us create a global movement towards finding a cure for Parkinson's.

World Parkinson Congress: Day Three

Today, the final day of the World Parkinson Congress continued to provide more fascinating workshops and speakers to report on. Amongst today’s highlights:

This morning Parkinson’s UK funded researcher, Roger Barker spoke about gene and cell-based therapies for Parkinson’s patients. He discussed the need to study design challenges and new possibilities, and spoke of his his current transplant trial.

Fellow Parkinson’s UK funded researcher Lyn Rochester also delivered an interesting speech on the benefits of physical therapy for people with Parkinson’s. There was a lot of discussion on the need for longer and larger studies into the benefits of physiotherapy.

Later on, Kieran Breen, our Director of Research and Development chaired a session on gene and cellular therapy. He suggested that tissue transplants may help us design stem cell clinical trials in the future.

We hope that everyone involved, both in Glasgow and those following via this blog and Twitter, has enjoyed the week and learnt something new about Parkinson’s. There’s been a real sense of coming together of people from across the globe, united in our efforts to learn more about Parkinson’s and move towards a cure for the condition.

Our Chief Executive, Steve Ford, sums up:

“Our objectives were to ensure that lots of people affected by Parkinson’s attended and shaped the congress and that Parkinson's UK had a high profile. We succeeded in both.

“It’s great to have developed our international relationships – this week, Parkinson’s UK established itself at the heart of the global Parkinson’s movement.

“Now we’ve reached the end of the week, we’re all feeling a little bit exhausted. But we’re really keen to capture everyone’s thoughts and observations so that we can ensure that this year’s WPC has an ongoing legacy. Whether you attended up here in Glasgow or not, we’d love to hear from you.”