Easington MP Grahame Morris has shown his support for the local Parkinson’s community on World Parkinson’s Day (11 April), and reflecting on how every Parkinson’s journey is different.

Grahame Morris attended a Parkinson’s UK parliamentary drop-in session on 20 March and heard that:

• There is a lack of joined-up care, which means people with the condition have to navigate their way between the different specialists and therapists they need to see.
• Newly diagnosed people are not receiving enough information about the condition.
• More than half of people with Parkinson’s who are admitted to hospital are not consistently receiving their vital medication on time, causing worsened symptoms.
• And people with Parkinson’s have to wait a long time to see health professionals, where they are able to get an appointment.
• Without targeted financial help for the additional cost of their condition through the cost of living crisis, many people with Parkinson’s are struggling to cover the basics.
With more than 40 symptoms, every Parkinson’s journey is unique, making it hard for the public and health professionals to understand without first-hand experience.

The drop-in session in Westminster was designed to start conversations and increase understanding among MPs and peers of what it’s like to live with Parkinson’s.

Around 153,000 people in the UK have Parkinson’s. It is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world and currently there is no cure.

Grahame Morris met members of the Parkinson’s community who live or care for people with the condition with a wide range of symptoms, they explained that the healthcare they receive doesn’t always meet their needs.

He urged the government to publish more details on their NHS workforce plan to ensure enough of the right specialists are trained to provide high quality care for people with Parkinson’s.

Grahame Morris also heard about the impact of the cost of living crisis on people with Parkinson’s who are receiving nowhere near enough targeted help with the costs associated with the condition.

Out of those living with Parkinson’s who are struggling financially*:

• Almost 40% say that they do not have enough money to cover basic needs.
• One in four are having fewer meals in order to save money.
• 43% say that their symptoms have been made worse by their financial situation.

Grahame Morris MP said: “It was incredibly powerful to hear people telling their Parkinson’s story and just how essential it is to get access to the right healthcare for this complex condition. The challenges that people face in accessing timely, high-quality Parkinson’s care demonstrate that urgent changes must be made.

“And it’s vital that people with long-term conditions like Parkinson’s get targeted financial help to tackle the disproportionate cost of living with the condition.”

Laura Cockram, Head of Campaigns at Parkinson’s UK, said:

“We’re extremely grateful to Grahame Morris for attending our awareness event for World Parkinson’s Day, and their pledge to support constituents affected by the condition in the Easington constituency.

“There isn’t just one face of Parkinson’s and there isn’t just one journey. Parkinson’s affects everyone differently and the services people with Parkinson’s access need to reflect that.

“We hope that through talking about Parkinson’s, we can start to address that. If more people understand Parkinson’s, they can support people in their local communities, join our cause to improve health and care services and the benefits system, help fundraise, and, ultimately, get us closer to a cure that everyone with the condition is so desperate for.”

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