Parkinson's disease and movement disorders

Parkinson's is a progressive neurological condition caused by the loss of nerve cells in the brain and other parts of the nervous system. The main symptoms of Parkinson’s are slowness of movement (or bradykinesia) and stiffness. Some people also experience tremor (or shaking) and balance problems. Parkinson’s can also cause symptoms that are not related to movement (non-motor symptoms) such as constipation, sleep disturbance, difficulty controlling the bladder and problems with thinking and memory.

The number of people diagnosed with Parkinson's in the UK is about 145,000. But we know that more than 1 million people in the UK are affected, either by living with Parkinson’s, or as a friend, colleague, or family member of someone who is.

Who we are

The Parkinson’s team is made up of; Consultants from Neurology and from Health Care for Older People, Parkinson’s Clinical Nurse Specialists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and other members of the Multi-Disciplinary Team.

Consultant-led clinics are held in all the acute hospitals in the county. The clinics see new referrals to the Movement Disorder and Parkinson’s service as well as ongoing follow up of people with Parkinsonian conditions. You may see a Consultant, a Junior Doctor or a Parkinson’s Clinical Nurse Specialist in these clinics.

Hospital nurse-led clinics are held at Royal Devon and Exeter, Heavitree and Exmouth Hospitals. These clinics are for:

  • One-off appointments for people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s
  • Follow up appointments for people with an established diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease
  • Monitoring clinics for people who are being considered for, or who are already on, non-oral Parkinson’s therapies (Apomorphine, Duodopa or Deep Brain Stimulator)
  • People recently discharged from hospital where required

Parkinson’s Team in Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital

The Parkinson’s outreach service provides a multidisciplinary service for people with Parkinson’s who are admitted to hospital, to provide treatment, support and advice to both patients and their relatives. Our aim is to maintain and improve health to prevent hospital admissions, but when our patients need admitting to hospital, we try and bring them together on Bolham ward where possible.

We pride ourselves in offering access to a highly skilled team of physiotherapists and occupational therapists, who are familiar with the symptoms caused by Parkinson’s and can suggest the best way to manage them. Our Team is also available to provide information and education about Parkinson’s medications.

We work very closely with a range of other professionals, such as Community Specialist Nurses, Speech and Language Therapists (SALT), Apomorphine Nurses, and we liaise with the Movement Disorders Service in Bristol for non-oral therapies.

Geriatricians:

Dr Sheridan and Dr Jackson.

Clinical Nurse Specialists:

Nicky Stapleton 01392 411611

Barbara Fort 01392 411611

Parkinson’s Community Clinical Nurse Specialists

There is a team of community Parkinson’s Clinical Nurse Specialists who are based around the county who offer support on the telephone and in clinics, both face to face and virtually, home visits and are able to provide education about living with Parkinson’s to people living with Parkinson’s, their families and carers. People living with Parkinson’s with in Devon have open access to the Community Parkinson’s Clinical Nurse Specialists, and are encouraged to call them with any Parkinson’s related issues/questions. The Community Clinical Nurse Specialists cannot act as an emergency service and they cannot arrange hospital admission or change patient outpatient appointments

Bolham ward 01392 402 777 / 01392 402 776.

Parkinson’s Community Specialist Nurses:

Exeter: Claire Soper - 01392405477

Mid and East Devon: Em Baker and Sam Moore - 01392405453

South Hams: Sian Day 01803 860 852

Torbay: Tina Ingham - 01803 655513

North Devon: Lynn Gill - 01271 322 361

Patient information leaflets

We produce a wide range of leaflets which provide information about our services and about the treatment you might receive in our clinics or during your stay in hospital. 

We also produce these in different formats including large print, please contact the department you are visiting for more information.

Find out more

The Parkinson’s Nursing Team

Should you require an appointment for review by the Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist, please see above to find your local Parkinson’s Nurse specialist and contact number.

The Parkinson's Nursing Team within Devon comprises eight Parkinson's Nurse Specialists. Two are based at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and the others are all community based. They work as part of a wider team of health and social care professionals, including District nurses, Community Matrons, GPs, Social Workers, Allied Health Care Professionals and Palliative Care Teams.

How the Parkinson’s Nurses Can Help

The Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist cares for patients and their carers who are affected by the condition. They can assist people with Parkinson's and their carers to improve quality of life by linking them to the appropriate care services and therapies. Parkinson’s Nurse Specialists can liaise with the GP, the consultant and any other health care professional regarding a person's individual needs.

The Parkinson’s Nurse may advise people on adjustment of medication. They provide information on Parkinson’s and useful networks. They increase awareness of Parkinson’s through education and training of fellow professionals.

What Happens if I am Admitted to Hospital?

If you are admitted to hospital for any reason, please (where possible) make sure you take a list of your medication, including the doses and the times you take your tablets, to the hospital with you. Also remember to take your medication into hospital with you.

Please let the ward staff know that you have a Parkinsonian condition (eg Parkinson’s, MSA, PSP etc). If you are a patient at the Hospital Parkinson’s Nurses can review you if needed when on the ward.

For more general information about being admitted to hospital with Parkinson’s, please visit the Parkinson’s UK website.

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Last updated: February 03, 2023