UHCW celebrating 10 years of innovative Parkinson’s care

As University Hospital in Coventry has been celebrating its 10th anniversary, two patients with Parkinson’s disease who use the hospital have been looking back at some of the improvements in care over the years.

Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which a progressive loss of nerve cells in the brain affects movements in the body. There is currently no cure, but treatments and surgery can help to manage patients’ symptoms.

Grandfather of five Phil Bagley, 68, from Binley, was first Patient Phil Bagley with Hannah Martin and Dr Andrea Lindahldiagnosed in 2000.

Phil reported having problems putting his socks on, and his wife Isabel noticed changes in his handwriting. He was referred to University Hospital and has been receiving care at the hospital ever since.

Phil said:
“I’ve had excellent care from the hospital throughout the last 16 years, but my treatments have changed a lot. I used to take pills to manage my Parkinson’s. At times I was taking 25 pills a day, and I couldn’t really leave the house.”

Thanks to specialised funding from NHS England, Phil is now using a new drug, Duodopa, to manage his condition. He added:

“I have advanced Parkinson’s, and so there are a lot of treatments I can’t have. The pump treatment I’m using now is working really well for me. Every day I change it in the morning and take it off at night, and I don’t have to think about it.

“The care I’ve received at the hospital has also made a big difference. Dr Lindahl is more like a friend than a doctor. We make decisions together about my treatment, and she’s always there for me.

“One of the biggest changes over the last 10 years has been the Parkinson’s nurses at the hospital and in the community. Whenever Isabel or I have needed anything, they’ve been on the end of the phone or able to visit us at home, and we’d be lost without them.”

Richard Wenmouth was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2008 when he was just 26 and working as a primary school teacher.

He now lives in Stoke in Coventry with his wife Karen, young daughter Amelia, and his two step-children Lucy and Nathan.

Richard said:Richard Wenmouth
“As a primary school teacher, I first knew something was wrong when everything started slowing down, and the loss of dexterity in my hands made tasks such as marking children's books and other fine motor tasks difficult.

“My GP referred me to University Hospital, and I’ve been cared for there ever since. I had to have lots of tests to rule out other things before I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

“I had a few complications with my treatment at first, but I’ve been doing a lot better since, and I was also supported to have deep brain stimulation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham two years ago.

“I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the neurology and therapy staff who have treated me at University Hospital. The Parkinson’s team are all compassionate and friendly, and they’ve really gone above and beyond, including helping me with paperwork when I had to apply for retirement and notify the DVLA.

“They really make you feel that they care about you personally – little things like remembering the children’s names, and asking after them.”

Dr Andrea Lindahl, Neurology Consultant at UHCW NHS Trust, who co-leads the Parkinson’s service, said:
“I’m delighted that Phil and Richard are doing so well and have been able to benefit from some of the latest treatments available to manage their condition.

“10 years ago there was no specialist service for Parkinson’s in Coventry. Now we have clinics across Coventry and Warwickshire, and a dedicated and innovative medical, nursing and therapy team. I and my colleague Dr Lucy Strens have also founded a West Midlands network to share learning to improve care for people across the region.

“As one of only 27 specialist neuroscience centres in the country, we’re proud to be delivering cutting-edge treatments such as Duodopa, which can be life-transforming in appropriate patients. We also work closely with the physiotherapy team at the hospital and partners in the community to deliver seamless care for patients.

“We look forward to continuing to improve and develop services for people with Parkinson’s in the next 10 years and beyond.”

More information about Parkinson's Disease

The Parkinson’s Team at UHCW comprises four Consultants, hospital and community Parkinson’s Disease Nurses, a GP with a special interest in Parkinson’s, and Physiotherapy leads.

Parkinson's disease is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years. The three main symptoms of Parkinson's disease are:
• involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body (tremor)
• slow movement
• stiff and inflexible muscles

It is thought that one person in every 500 is affected by Parkinson's disease. Most people with Parkinson's start to develop symptoms when they're over 50, although around 1 in 20 people with the condition first experience symptoms when they're under 40.

For more information about Parkinson’s disease, visit: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Parkinsons-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx