"I’m not getting any clear answers"

About: Ayrshire Central Hospital

(as a relative),

My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013 by a consultant neurologist in North Ayrshire. My husband was then referred to another consultant in South Ayrshire, this consultant specialized in the care of the elderly with an interest in Parkinson’s.

Although I’m trying to get a clear understanding of whether Parkinson’s disease is a neurological or geriatric medicine specialism I’m not getting any clear answers. My belief is that it is a neurological condition as I understand it can affect younger people also, in which case I need to know why my husband is not under the care of a neurologist.

I understood that following his diagnosis my husband would be seen at the hospital every 6 months, by the consultant and specialist nurse alternating on each appointment. However, this has not been our experience – there are / were three consultants in the area, 1 has left and 1 is on long term sick leave which leaves just one – I personally do not think this is enough to meet the demand for the level of care we were given to expect.

Another aspect of chronic conditions is the importance of continuity in care, building a rapport with a single consultant who is able to understand their patient’s specific circumstances and provide care accordingly. This has not happened, in our experience, and wondered if there were plans to address the need for more consultants and provision of clearer information.

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Responses

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear Glacier962,

This must be a very trying time for you both. As you have quite rightly pointed out, the current service has fewer consultants than previously which puts the Specialist Nurses under additional pressure too. I say this by way of explanation and not as an excuse.

I do understand that work is underway to address this. If you could please contact me and we can explore some possible options. Meantime I will also discuss this with the managers to explore the options and get the answers you need. My phone number is 01563 826222 and my email address in eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk.

May I say how sorry I am that your husband has not had the continuity of care that you both desire.

Kind regards,

Eunice

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran We have made a change

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Dear Glacier962

Thank you for getting in touch with us and giving us a chance to help.

Our Clinical Lead, Dr Watt would like to apologise for the lack of consultant review. He does have some reassurance that your husband is attending an experienced nurse but also appreciates your concerns and need to have continuity of care and Consultant input. You can be referred to an other clinic Glasgow by your GP and we have contacted your GP Practice (as per our conversation and with your agreement) to confirm this.

In response to your question about neurologists. The majority of PD patients are managed by care of the elderly consultants, although some are seen at first by neurologists.

I hope you get access to the Parkinsons service rapidly and get the continuity of care you need.

We have high hopes that our service will soon return to full strength.

best wishes,

Eunice

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