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Specialist Care Team highly commended at UK Parkinson's Excellence Network Awards

The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust’s (RBFT) specialist care team in West Berkshire were highly commented at last night’s UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network Awards. The team was a finalist in the Innovation in Practice award category. 

To qualify for the ‘Innovation in Practice' category, entrants must have been shown a new technique, patient pathway, use of digital technology, or have adapted a practice to meet challenges. Parkinson’s UK said: “This award acknowledges those who aren’t afraid to try something new to drive up the standard of care.”

Finalists have either been nominated for an award by a member of the Parkinson’s Community or a peer working in health and social care for making a difference to Parkinson’s care. 

Judges, who include a panel of multidisciplinary healthcare professionals, as well as members of the community living with the condition, praised the award entrants for their overwhelming dedication to improve the experience of people with Parkinson’s.

Excellence Network Associate Director, Dr Rowan Wathes said: “This year the quality of entries was exceptional. I want to congratulate the Royal Berkshire NHS Trust on its well-deserved success in being shortlisted, and being among the movers and shakers at the forefront of exceptional Parkinson’s care. We were bowled over by the range of applications and the quality of services showcased. It is an honour and a privilege to shine a light on these exceptional healthcare professionals.

"You are a beacon of good practice inspiring service improvement. I urge healthcare professionals in our sector to attend the Excellence Network Conference on 4 November to hear from the award winners and learn from a multidisciplinary programme showcasing best practice in Parkinson’s care."

The RBFT specialist care team were shortlisted from 30 entries and is one of six shortlisted finalists, each of whom will be either highly commended or a category winner, with one finalist going on to win the overall Excellence Network Award. All categories have been newly introduced this year. 

Dr Apurba Chatterjee, Consultant  Physician Elderly Care Medicine, RBFT said: “As a team we are  delighted that our project has been highly commended by Parkinson’s UK Excellence Network Awards. We have worked hard to develop the Advance Care pathway for patients who are in the complex stage of the disease to offer holistic care for the patients and respect their choices and wishes. Our project has led to change in practice and we are proud that this has been recognised. We will continue to  consolidate and develop this service to provide holistic care for our patients.’’

The team developed an ‘Advance Care Planning’ (ACP) pathway for people with Parkinson’s and their families. This involved:

  • completing a retrospective audit to review hospital deaths in Parkinson’s in 2017 and ACP completion.
  • organising an Advanced Parkinson’s study day was organised in December 2018 where a Neurologist, Parkinson’s Nurse, Geriatrician and Palliative Care lead shared their views on ACP.
  • conducting a GP survey about managing  the ‘complex stage’ of Parkinson’s and ACP.
  • developing and publishing a Trust guideline for referring Parkinson’s patients for ACP.
  • sharing their findings with the Trust via teaching sessions, screen savers and posters.
  • developing an electronic referral for ACP assessment and a template for ACP assessment.
  • generating electronic GP letters.
  • conducting a patient survey on ACP in Parkinson’s.

The winners will be announced at the virtual event co-hosted by Parkinson’s UK’s President Jane Asher and Terence Manning, a former head teacher, living with Parkinson’s, who judged entries. 

Jane Asher said: “I love these awards. They give us a chance to celebrate great care for people affected by Parkinson’s. Care that makes a difference not only in the consulting room, but to peoples’ everyday lives in the community.” 

Terence said: “As someone living with Parkinson’s, I am proud and excited  to know the innovative service improvements reflected in the shortlisted entries are being made for people like me across the UK. These awards are so important because they let  our clinicians and service providers know how much we truly appreciate them. They also show that our community are active participants, co-creating and sharing how services for them  can be improved.

The UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network was established in 2015 by Parkinson’s UK, alongside leading clinicians, to drive improvements in Parkinson’s care. It aims to achieve consistent, high-quality Parkinson’s services by sharing evidence, training, tools to support best practice and collaboration. It ensures the views and experiences of people affected by this complex, long-term neurological condition are at the forefront of service improvement.

Parkinson’s is a neurological condition for which there is currently no cure. Every hour, 2 people in the UK are told they have Parkinson's and it affects 145,000 people across the UK. 

To find out more about the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network Awards or the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network, please visit: or follow the Network on twitter @ParkinsonsEN.

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