Thursday, 17 June 2010
Something happened at the Petitions Committee the other day ...
... something I believe to be newsworthy and that is this. Parkinson's UK have been running a campaign for people who are on medication for the condition to "Get it on Time". It's a very simple request but oh so important if you have Parkinson's. Basically, if someone living with Parkinson's spends time in hospital, they will be given their medication when there is a medicine round. The trouble with that is that they need the tablets at SPECIFIC times and regular intervals. If they don't get it at those times and intervals, their *symptoms return very quickly - unfortunately it takes quite a bit longer to get the symptoms under control again.
Obviously if they're in hospital to be treated for their condition, the staff are aware of this but more often than not, the Parkinson's Disease is not why they're there. And it's not that the nursing staff don't care. The evidence we heard yesterday from campaigners was that they often are simply not aware. That was my experience. My late ex common law mother in law (if you follow me) had Parkinson's, went into hospital for other tests and they took her medication from her because you are not supposed to self medicate in hospital. The effects were quick and dramatic. Another time they agreed to administer the medication but thought we were being overly cautious when we explained that it had to be at certain times. The result was that her symptoms returned with a vengeance.
So when asked if they could achieve one thing what would it be, one of the guys giving evidence said he'd concentrate on the education side of it. The committee agreed to do a number of things and one of them I'm also going to do and that is to write to those providing nursing training to ask them if they DO cover the importance of getting Parkinson's medication on time. If they don't, I'll be backing Parkinson's UK's request that they change that. Any nurse would want to be aware of it and it's such a simple little thing which makes a massive difference to the person with Parkinson's.
*Symptoms include uncontrolled movements, being unable to move, speak, eat or swallow and even some very distressing psychotic symptoms!