Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has given his support to Parkinson’s UK’s calls to ensure people with Parkinson’s get their medication on time, every time, when in hospital.
People with Parkinson’s rely on their time critical medication. A delay of as little as 30 minutes can mean the difference between functioning well and possibly being unable to move, walk, talk or swallow.
Alex met with Parkinson’s UK in Parliament to discuss the charity’s Get It On Time campaign. The campaign highlights that only 42% of people with Parkinson’s received their medication on time when admitted to hospital in England last year.
Alex heard from members of the Parkinson’s community about the impact not receiving medication on time while in hospital has had on them or a loved one. They discussed how Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, and currently there is no cure. It affects around200 people in Stockton North and what steps the NHS should take to address workforce gaps and waiting times in light of the NHS Long Term workforce plan.
Data from Freedom of Information requests sent to NHS Hospital Trusts in England by Parkinson’s UK found that just half (52%) of NHS Trusts provide training on time-critical medication to staff and one in four NHS Trusts in England do not have policies that allow people to take their own medication when admitted to hospital.
NHS Trusts are not required to monitor or report missed or delayed doses of medication, and therefore unaware of the need to act.
Alex also heard that the charity is offering practical solutions to tackle this crisis, and that this is not just an issue for people with Parkinson’s, there are other conditions that require medication to be taken at specific times. That’s why Diabetes UK, Epilepsy Action, National AIDS Trust, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, The Richmond Group, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and Rethink Mental Illness, are joining Parkinson’s UK in calling on the Government to:
- Have self-administration of medication policies in every hospital across each ward (where safe to), so that patients who are able to take their own medication on time can do so.
- Boost the rollout of e-prescribing in hospitals to alert staff when medication is due and use it to monitor and report on missed or delayed doses.
- Train all hospital ward staff responsible for prescribing and administering medication to ensure people reliant on time critical medication get their medication on time, every time.
“A close friend of mine lived with Parkinson’s for many years, with the effects of the disease ultimately contributing to his passing, so the issue of providing timely medication to people living with Parkinson’s when in a hospital setting is one that is close to my heart.
“Hearing from to Parkinson’s UK representatives and members of the Parkinson’s community about this issue shows that we have a long way to go to ensure they get the support they need. No one should fear going into hospital.”
Laura Cockram, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Parkinson’s UK, said:
“We want to thank Alexfor speaking to us about issues that people living with Parkinson’s face, including our Get It On Time campaign, and challenges accessing the right healthcare staff to support them in Stockton North.
“We’re here to work with the NHS and the Government to make sure people who depend on time critical medication see hospitals as safe places to be. It is time to act now, and we hope our discussions with Alex will take us one step closer to improving health and care services for people with Parkinson’s.”
To find out more about Parkinson’s UK visit www.parkinsons.org.uk