New Parkinson's Nurse for Western Trust

17/01/2011

Parkinson’s UK – the support and research charity - is committed to improving life for everyone affected by Parkinson’s.

That’s why celebrations are in order with the news that the Western Trust has committed to two full-time posts after a long period of the posts being either vacant or part-time.

Caroline McMahon is the Parkinson’s nurse covering Londonderry, Limavady, Strabane and Dungiven areas. Fiona McKenna is the new nurse for Omagh and Fermanagh.

Parkinson’s UK has helped get the full-time posts appointed, which is the top priority for people with Parkinson’s according to the charity’s members’ survey. The charity will cover the additional costs of the two posts becoming full-time for two years after which the Trust will take over the funding.

Parkinson’s nurses are critical to the care of people living with the condition. They help people manage their medication, offer advice and information about living with Parkinson’s and give emotional support to both the person with Parkinson’s and their family or carer.

Jack Glenn is a Local Champion for Parkinson’s UK and has been working with the charity to develop better services for people with Parkinson’s and their carers. Jack, who is also chair of the Foyle Branch of Parkinson’s UK and has Parkinson’s, said: ‘We in the Foyle Branch have seen a dramatic difference in the specialist nurse service now that our nurse is full-time. The Parkinson’s nurse is crucial in helping us manage our symptoms as well as providing support to families and carers and we are very grateful that her hours have been extended.’

Nicola Moore, Country Manager of Parkinson’s UK said:  “We are passionate about ending the postcode lottery for access to Parkinson’s nurses. We want to make sure that everyone with Parkinson’s can see a Parkinson’s nurse wherever they live in the UK.

“The two full-time Parkinson’s nurses will make a huge difference to over 580 people living with Parkinson’s in theWestern Trust.

“I hope that everyone who wants to get in touch during this exciting time does so, and we can bring people with Parkinson’s, their carers and families together via the local Parkinson’s UK Branches in Foyle, Omagh and Fermanagh as well as our website and free helpline.”

Pauline Casey, Long term Conditions Coordinator for the Western Trust
says: "I am delighted that people living in the Western Trust have at last access to two full-time Parkinson’s nurses. This service has been absent for some time in the Southern Sector of the Trust.

“The service that has been provided in the Derry area will be mirrored in Omagh/Fermanagh areas where both nurses will work closely with consultants, GPs, Voluntary agencies, support groups and Parkinson's UK."

The charity’s local Information and Support Workers (ISWs) for this area are Jean Lennox (Foyle) on 0844 225 9823 and Anne Eves (Omagh and Fermanagh) on 0844 225 3685. They can offer a range of information and support services to people living with Parkinson’s, working closely with specialist nurses in the area.