Parkinson’s service

Parkinson’s is a deteriorating neurological condition which can affect any age.

About 1 in 350 people will develop some type of Parkinson’s. This is a condition where the production of Dopamine in the brain is gradually reduced, leading to both ‘Motor’ (movement) and ‘non-Motor’ symptoms. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including problems with Slowness of movement, Rigidity of the limbs, Tremor, Speech and Swallowing issues, and undertaking the activities of daily living. Continence, Sleep, Cognitive decline, and other symptoms can also occur.


Diagnosis is usually made by either a Neurologist or an Elderly Care Consultant with an interest in Parkinson’s, and people with suspected Parkinson’s should be referred, un-treated, by their GP for diagnosis.

Diagnosis can be made on observational/physical findings but usually Blood investigations will be undertaken to ensure symptoms are not overlapping other conditions. The Consultant may request an MRI Brain scan – and occasionally, a very specialised Dopamine Transport (DAT) Scan may be required to differentiate between other possible diagnosis.  There are many different forms of Parkinson’s and not all forms are responsive to treatment long term.  The consultant will then initiate medical treatment and refer to one of the Two Parkinson’s Specialist Nurses working for the Trust; One nurse covers Hastings, Bexhill and Rother CCG and the other covers Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG.

Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse

The Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse can see anyone with a confirmed  diagnosis of Parkinson’s and accepts referrals from Consultant’s, GP’s and, when an inpatient in our hospitals, other allied health care professionals, community AHP’s will need to request a referral via their GP practice – please note you cannot self refer to this service.

The nurse will review all medication, can increase medication, and introduce new medication separate from the diagnosing consultant – via the GP.  The nurse will also be vital in liaising with the other allied health care professionals, which may be needed such as Physiotherapy, Speech and Language therapy, Occupational Therapy, Adult Social Care etc. Currently the nurses are only able to review people with Parkinson’s in clinic or via telephone, and in the acute or rehab hospitals, if required.