The purpose of the Edinburgh Parkinson’s Assessment Clinic (EPAC) is to help you to be more confident in your ability to manage your Parkinson’s yourself. We aim to achieve this through seeing you in the clinic as soon as possible after diagnosis.
EPAC is held on a Wednesday afternoon on the lower ground floor in the ARC (Assessment and Rehabilitation Centre) in the Royal Victoria Building at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh.
Referral to the clinic is usually via your consultant or the Parkinson’s nurse specialist.
During your visit you will be seen by three specialist therapists: Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy. You will be given advice and education which will help you to manage your symptoms.
The first person you see will gather your background information; you will then be assessed by each therapist in turn:
- Physiotherapy – assesses posture, balance, walking and general mobility. You will be given advice and exercises to maintain your mobility and range of movement in your joints, in an attempt to prevent any deterioration.
- Occupational Therapy – assesses practical issues of daily living, leisure and occupation, as well as providing emotional support to both you and family.
- Speech and Language Therapy – assesses speech and communication as well as other issues you may have such as chewing, swallowing and saliva management.
All this allows a baseline assessment to be carried out. There will also be an opportunity for advice and information, onward referral for treatment and access to other associated services, such as Lifestyle Management programmes, Community Therapy Services, Psychology, Exercise programmes, and Hydrotherapy.
The appointment generally lasts for 2 – 2½ hours. There is no medical presence at the clinic, but a report will be sent to your GP, hospital consultant and the Parkinson’s nurses with the results of your assessments and any recommendations.
If you are newly diagnosed and you think you would benefit from attending EPAC, please contact the Parkinson’s nurse specialist service on 0131 465 9156.