A NEW one-stop-shop clinic for people suffering from movement disorders like Parkinson’s at the Great Western Hospital is allowing residents to receive essential treatment in a single easily accessible service.
The Movement Disorder service, which runs every Monday, launched at the start of the year to offer a unified level of care to all patients across the hospital.
Up until then separate services had run in parallel for younger and older patients, often leading to confusion and a slight discrepancy in the standard of care provided.
To remedy the situation, Dr Debesh Mukherjee, a geriatrician in the Department of Medicine for the Elderly, and neurologist Graham Lennox integrated their two services and created a single movement disorder clinic.
“In most parts of the country neurologists and geriatricians tend to run parallel services for patients with Parkinson’s disease, with separate services for younger and older patients,” said Dr Mukherjee. “This can cause confusion for patients and GPs alike. It can also mean that, within the same area, there can be different standards of care.
“Over the past year, neurologist Graham Lennox and I have integrated our services to provide a single Movement Disorder Service for all patients with Parkinson’s disease and related movement disorders.”
Around 500 patients from Swindon, Wiltshire and even Gloucestershire and Berkshire attend the clinics.
Joining the services has allowed patients equal access to physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy in the same clinic.
“The more access patients have to specialist clinicians the better, as the quality of care they receive will have an impact on their lives,” added Dr Mukherjee.
“Getting good physiotherapy for example will mean they may be able to continue working and can avoid lengthy stays in hospital. If someone can be seen early, they can be managed better.
“Seeing the same person each time also makes a difference. “It’s much nicer for people to come in and know the person they are going to see and in return that person knows them and how best to treat them.”
The new clinic has made a significant difference to patients including members of the Swindon and District branch of Parkin-son’s UK in the few short months since the opening.
“It has been a great improvement,” said chairman Dave Logan. “They decided to amalgamate the services and it is handier now because everything is in one area – speech therapy, physiotherapy and various other services they run there to help. Access is also very easy and it is progress for people with Parkinson’s.”
A single point of access helpline is available on 01793 646466.