Health board will replace nurse
Campaigner to remain vigilant
NHS Lanarkshire has confirmed a new, specialist Parkinson’s nurse will be employed after pressure from a Cambuslang man.
Harry Hay approached the Reformer in May expressing his concern after Parkinson’s nurse Elaine Thompson was quitting her role.
The 68-year-old said he was worried the health board would not provide a like-for-like replacement, but last week they contacted Harry and James Kelly MSP, saying the role would be filled.
A letter signed by chief executive Calum Campbell also said they would review service provision in the region to see if “any further enhancements can be made.”
But Harry this week urged caution and said he would be holding NHS Lanarkshire to its word.
“We were discussing it at our monthly Parkinson’s branch meeting last week, and the consensus was that most people don’t trust them.
“The one good thing is they are saying it’s a Parkinson’s nurse we are getting rather than a nurse with an interest in Parkinson’s, but that’s not to say they won’t change that.
“They also don’t tell us when she’ll be replaced. They have temporary arrangement in place now but, off the top of my head, there are 900 patients to deal with and that’s too much for one nurse.”
Harry had raised the issue with Glasgow MSP James Kelly. The pair had previously campaigned for a second Parkinson’s nurse in Lanarkshire.
Mr Kelly said: “This is positive news and it is encouraging that the NHS board has listened to the concerns of local groups.
“I will be continuing to monitor this situation carefully and ensure that people with Parkinson’s receive the resources and care they deserve.”
Maria Docherty, nurse director at South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “We are currently recruiting to replace one of our full-time Parkinson’s nurse specialists posts.
“We have received some interest and interviews will take place next month with a view to fill the vacancy as soon as possible.
“Covering arrangements will remain in place until the new Parkinson’s nurse specialist starts and we will ensure patients receive whatever support they need during this time to continue their safe and appropriate care.
“As always, we are keen to improve our services for people with Parkinson’s and want to consider the service provision across the whole pathway of care.
“We met with Parkinson’s UK last week to discuss possibilities of closer links with them and future joint training opportunities with staff. Once our new Parkinson’s nurse is in post the they will link with partners such as Parkinson’s UK to ensure we are in a position to best meet patients’ needs.”
CampaignHarry Hay (right) and Glasgow MSP James Kelly previously fought for a second Parkinson’s nurse in Lanarkshire