ParkinsonNet Seminar

How we can improve Parkinson’s Services in Lothian

Saturday February 22nd, Bellevue Chapel, Rodney St, Edinburgh

What is the Issue?

People affected by Parkinson’s should have ready access to multi–disciplinary teams structured to focus on patient needs. Team members, including Physiotherapy, Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy professionals, should all have specialist Parkinson’s training and experience. This is recognised ‘Best Practice’, but does it apply to you? Probably not.

Despite some examples of very good practice, for many people in Lothian the situation is poor. It can vary depending on your age and/or post code. NHS Lothian understands this and has teams working to identify and implement new and improved working methods. Patrick Mark (Chairman of Edinburgh Branch, Parkinson’s UK) represents the Branch on several of these NHS groups.

The aim is to find better ways of using the available resources. In a time of budget restrictions more cash is not a realistic solution. We have to work more effectively. International Best Practice suggests several models which appear to provide the sort of outcome we seek. The leading example is ParkinsonNet, developed in the Netherlands.

ParkinsonNet is managed by Prof Bastiaan Bloem and his team at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre. Over the past ten years it has demonstrated how better specialist training, team working, communications, service structures and patient involvement has resulted in better patient care and lower service costs.

Our seminar looked at how ParkinsonNet works,whether it might benefit Lothian and if the Branch should promote its concepts.


  •  Introduction and overview of Parkinson’s services in Lothian (Patrick Mark): you can download Patrick’s presentation as either a Powerpoint file or a pdf file by clicking on one of the following links:
  • Video presentation by Prof Bloem describing the ParkinsonNet system in Netherlands and its benefits. We regret that we are not able to make Professor Bloem’s presentation available for on-line viewing on this site, but anyone who is interested in finding out more is invited to get in touch with the Chair of the Research Interest Group, Ken Bowler. Alternatively, you can watch the following Youtube clip which explains the thinking behind ParkinsonNet: ParkinsonNet English version
  • Group Discussion of whether ParkinsonNet approach would be beneficial in Lothian. A summary of our discussions: ParkNetreportFeb14.

A flavour of Bastiaan Bloem’s approach to patient care is exemplified in the following amusing video clip:

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