Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Parkinsons Disease sufferer tells MP
of need for a specialist nurse in Lisburn


Mr. Jim Henry with Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson.LOCAL Parkinsons Disease sufferer has emphasised the need for a nurse specialising in the condition to be based in Lisburn. Mr. Jim Henry made his comments to Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson when he travelled to the House of Commons to attend the launch of an inquiry into the level of access to health and social services available to people living with the condition.

Mr. Henry who was accompanied by Mrs. Irene Falloon said Mr. Donaldson pledged his support for the appointment of a local specialist nurse after hearing more than 350 people are currently living with Parkinsons in the South Eastern Trust area. The All Parliamentary Parkinson's Group (APPG) inquiry is being launched following a recent survey conducted by the Parkinson's Disease Society (PDS) involving over 13,000 of its members.

The survey revealed a third of people across the UK diagnosed with Parkinson's in the last year were not given clear information about the condition, and the majority of people living with Parkinson's had not been assessed for or received key therapies such as speech and language therapy and occupational therapy.

The survey also showed that more than a quarter of people living with Parkinson's had never spoken to a specialist nurse. Nearly a third of people with Parkinson's who need home help aren't receiving it. The APPG will investigate why these inequalities continue to exist and provide an overall picture of the scale and nature of the barriers to accessing services for people with Parkinson's, their families and carers.

Mr. Donaldson said it was vital anyone with experience of accessing health and social services because of Parkinsons responded to the inquiry to ensure "a solid case can be put forward to the Government to instigate changes in Lagan Valley.

"I am currently compiling information from local people who suffer from Parkinson's. I will be responding to the APPG's inquiry and urge anyone affected by Parkinson's, or with an experience of Parkinson's services to respond as well," he added.

Ulster Star