‘Desperately needed’ help call for disease

PUBLISHED: 11:02 04 June 2016 | UPDATED: 14:48 07 June 2016

Archant

People living with Parkinson’s in Somerset could be left ‘without help they desperately need’ if planned reductions to NHS support go ahead, according to a leading charity.

There are currently around 1,500 people living with the disease across Somerset which, according to national guidelines, should mean there are at least five specialist nurses serving the county.

But Parkinson’s UK, a leading charity to support people with the disease, has found there are only three in post across the area, with one of these positions in severe danger of being lost.

That third post was set up in 2013 and funded by Parkinson’s UK at a cost of £80,000 for two years, following consultation with Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for providing most of the NHS’s healthcare in the area.

With the money set to run out this week, Parkinson’s UK has said the CCG should take over the funding, and had previously made assurances it would do so.

But the CCG has responded to say it only agreed to take on paying for the nurse if it could be shown hospital admissions had been reduced over the two years – something it says has not happened.

Neil Smart, Parkinson’s UK area manager for Somerset, said: “Reducing the number of Parkinson’s nurses in Somerset will strip away the already under-resourced support being offered to people, leaving them without the expert help they desperately need and increasing the chances of them ending up in hospital.”

Somerset CCG said it had undertaken an evaluation, which had shown high levels of patient satisfaction, but had not ‘clearly’ shown a reduction in hospital admissions or length of stay in hospital.

Managing director David Slack said: “The NHS in Somerset is currently under enormous demand and financial pressure to pay for more care. Somerset CCG is not in a position to bring new investment to services unless such service can be funded through releasing resource from elsewhere.

“The CCG cannot justify funding an additional specialist nurse post at this time and we have asked Parkinson’s UK to consider a six-month extension to allow further evaluation of the impact to be undertaken.”

The CCG and Parkinson’s UK will now meet over the coming weeks to attempt to find how funding might be secured to continue the role.

More from Weston Mercury

28 minutes ago

Weston-super-Mare’s first balloon launch, which was due to take place on Saturday, has been postponed due to poor weather conditions.

Read more

Future bids for fracking to take place across North Somerset should be decided by the authority and not the Government, according to councillors.

Read more

A woman has been injured after colliding with a car in Weston this morning (Thursday).

Read more

An accident involving two cars in Worle has resulted in slow moving traffic this morning (Thursday).

Read more

The prospect of Weston’s Tropicana being transformed into an ‘entertainment hub’ courtesy of a £1million investment have moved forward this week.

Read more

A Priory Community School (PCSA) teacher has been cooking up tasty treats on a national cooking television programme.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:56

Hard-working sailing volunteers from Clevedon and Yatton will have a royal appointment this week to recognise decades of service.

Read more
Clevedon Yatton
Yesterday, 17:58

One of the world’s best mountain climbers inspired hundreds of students with his heroic feats and stories.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

Volunteers hoping to make a busy road which connects Weston to Bristol safer for motorists and pedestrians have called on villagers to get involved.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:38

More than 90 competitors wowed audiences with ballroom, Latin and classic dance performances in Weston-super-Mare.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 12°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists