Brent, the London Borough with the highest number of Irish people or people of Irish descent in the country, now has a specialist Parkinson’s Disease nurse.
There are approximately 700 people living with Parkinson’s Disease in Brent.
In Ireland there are 9,000 people with the condition.
Nurse Laura Niepage, 27, has been assigned to the new service which began in June and is run by the London North West Healthcare (LNWH) NHS Trust and funded by the Brent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Nurse Laura said: “Living with a neurodegenerative disease, such as Parkinson’s, can have a huge impact on the lives of everyone affected.
“With this new service individuals will get information, education and support for them and their families and friends about their condition.
“The aim is to retain their quality of life and their activities of daily living and to retain and regain confidence.
“We also aim to prevent admissions to hospital with assessments, individualised care plans and meet-ups in between consultant appointments.”
She will visit patients in residential and care homes, GP practices and community clinics and work with the neurology teams at Northwick Park, Central Middlesex and Charing Cross hospitals.
Dr Ethie Kong, chair of Brent CCG said: “The new community service uses skills across our local NHS to effectively care for and treat Parkinson’s Disease.”
Dr Sophie Molloy, the LNWH Trust’s Parkinson’s lead, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Brent Clinical Commissioning Group to deliver better community care for patients with Parkinson’s Disease and their carers.
“The appointment of a Brent based community Parkinson’s specialist nurse is expected to be in conjunction with improved services for all Parkinson’s patients attending the Trust’s hospital sites, regardless of the borough in which they live.”
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement. It is associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine.