New Parkinson’s Audit Revealed: 3 Steps for Optimal Medication Regimes

medication management

This month saw the publication of the results of the 2015 Parkinson’s Audit, the largest survey to date about the quality of care provided to people with Parkinson’s in the UK. The audit measures the quality of care provided to people with Parkinson’s, in a range of areas, against national guidelines.

Co-ordinated by the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network, the audit reported on care provided to almost 9000 people during a 5-month period in 2015. The results are seen by the network as playing a key role in helping professionals improve the quality of care to people with the debilitating neurological condition.

Amongst the positive news that 94.1% of people with Parkinson’s were able to access a specialist nurse, was the more worrying news that many people in receipt of care did not always receive their medication on time and, of these, almost 40% said this had a negative impact on their health. With effective medication regimes being one of the biggest influences on the wellbeing of people with Parkinson’s, this is an issue that every care provider should be aware of. Read on to find out more.

In addition to the above, the audit also highlighted that:

  • Only 13% of those who took part in the audit offer a fully integrated Parkinson’s service.
  • Only 65% of respondents felt they received enough information on diagnosis.
  • Around 40% of people were not assessed for blood pressure, pain and bone health in neurology services.
  • Only 28% of those with markers of advanced Parkinson’s had any recorded discussion of end of life care issues.

3 Steps to Ensure Your Service Users with Parkinson’s get the Most from their Medication Regimes

  1. Get the timing right. It is essential to follow the timing of each drug regime exactly, to ensure that the optimum effects are maintained throughout the whole 24-hour period. Each person has an individual regime designed for them, which often means medication being given at frequent, or unusual, intervals. By ensuring this routine is maintained precisely each day, you will help optimise the effects of the medication.
  2. Co-ordinate with meals. Parkinson’s medication must almost always be given 30-60 minutes before meals, to ensure that food does not interfere with absorption. If taken on a full stomach, symptoms may worsen. Only in the early stages of drug treatment, when drug-induced nausea is common, is medication taken after food.
  3. Plan ahead. Maintaining an effective medication regime is essential, so it is important to plan for this if the individual is admitted to hospital, or is undergoing outpatient investigations. By liaising with the GP, Parkinson’s specialist nurse, or consultant, you can help to ensure that the regime is adjusted to minimise any ill-effects.

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