Health organisations pledge their support for Parkinson's Awareness Week (April 10-16)

Health services in Lincolnshire are calling on local residents to support Parkinson's Awareness Week to help raise awareness of the condition and support available across Lincolnshire. 

Staff from Clinical Commissioning Groups for east, south and south west of Lincolnshire, along with those from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, are among those celebrating the week, which runs from April 10-16.

Around 127,000 people across the UK have Parkinson's Disease - that's equivalent to one in every 500 people. Most people are over 50 when they're diagnosed with the condition, however, it can affect younger people too, with one in 20 people diagnosed being under 40. 

One of the most commonly associated symptoms of Parkinson's Disease is shaking or trembling. However, the disease affects everyone differently, and symptoms can include difficulties with movement, tiredness, pain and problems with memory.

"Every person with Parkinson's is different," explains Dr Kevin Hill, GP and Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG. "What can be more frustrating to sufferers is that the effects of the disease can change from day to day. Symptoms that may be noticeable one day may well not be a problem the next. This can have a huge impact on daily life.

"Whilst there is currently no cure for Parkinson's, there are a range of medicines available to help patients manage their symptoms and continue to lead active and fulfilling lives.

"There is also support available in our area to enable patients, families and their carers to meet and socialise with others and receive valuable help and support."

The Community Parkinson's Nurse Service is one such service, which sees specialist Parkinson's nurses from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) helping people with Parkinson's to manage their symptoms in local clinics and at home. 

The service is currently available in the Lincolnshire East, South and South West Lincolnshire CCG areas and is supported by three Parkinson's specialist nurses and a staff nurse. 

Tracey Watt, LCHS Parkinson's nurse specialist, said: "Our care of people with Parkinson's is a real team approach, ensuring we work closely with those involved in patients' wider care, including consultants and neurologists. Our role is to assist those living with the disease to manage their symptoms by monitoring medication and supporting access to other professionals such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists. 

"We also play a role in educating patients, families, groups and other health and social care professionals to promote a greater understanding and awareness of Parkinson's Disease."

Tracey will be available to provide advice and support at an open day for the Louth branch of Parkinson's UK on Wednesday, April 12. Visitors are welcome to drop in to the British Legion from 10.30am until 3pm. 

For more information about the condition, visit www.nhs.uk

For advice and support, visit www.parkinsons.org.uk for more information about support groups in your local area.