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Nurses urged to help inform inquiry on Parkinson’s disease and mental health

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A group of MPs and peers with an interest in Parkinson’s disease are calling on nurses to help inform an investigation into mental health issues linked to the long-term condition.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Parkinson’s is calling for specialist nurses to take part in what is being described as a ground-breaking inquiry into anxiety and depression with the condition.

“The insights and experiences of healthcare professionals are going to be crucial”

Anita Gale

The inquiry, launched on 22 June, is the first of its kind and invites nurses, as well as other clinicians, commissioners and Parkinson’s patients to feedback on their experiences and to identify and suggest improvements in access to mental health services.

With the assistance of the charity Parkinson’s UK, the group will use the insights to write a report and develop recommendations for the government to improve mental health support for people with Parkinson’s.

Labour peer Baroness Anita Gale, co-chair of the APPG on Parkinson’s, said: “The insights and experiences of healthcare professionals are going to be crucial for this important inquiry.

“I do hope that people will take this opportunity to share their thoughts and help us improve mental health services and access to those services for people with Parkinson’s experiencing anxiety or depression,” she said.

Holly Heath, senior policy and campaigns adviser at Parkinson’s UK, added: “As Parkinson’s nurses will know, anxiety and depression are common non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s. But unfortunately we know people often face barriers accessing timely and appropriate mental health support.

“This is why Parkinson’s nurses, who help people with Parkinson’s every day, need to respond to the APPG’s call for evidence, to share their views and offer practical suggestions as to how this important issue can be improved,” she said.

The deadline for responses is 25 August 2017. Nurses can take part by completing an online survey or by using the terms of reference document and respond by email or post.

The inquiry will focus on England, but the APPG said it was also keen to receive examples of good practice from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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