Number of Scots with Parkinson’s set to double

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Strain could be put on existing care services with the number of people fighting the condition higher than estimated

8th January 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

The amount of Scots living with Parkinson’s is set to double.

New figures from Parkinson’s UK have shown that more than 12,000 Scots are living with the condition – and this amount is set to double within 50 years.

Previous estimates put the number of people in Scotland with the incurable condition at around 11,000 and the charity is warning that the rising numbers of people with Parkinson’s will have significant impacts on already stretched health and social care services. 

Tanith Muller, parliamentary and campaigns manager at Parkinson’s UK, said: “Parkinson’s is a complex condition that typically affects every area of a person’s life. It has a huge impact on individuals, their families, carers, the NHS and the social care system. As people live longer and the number of people living with the condition increases, getting Parkinson’s care and support right is essential. 

“Around 1,500 people will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s in Scotland this year – that’s 30 people every week - and these numbers are set to increase. It’s vital that our health and care service providers act now to ensure that services are in place to meet people’s needs.”

Dr Carl Counsell, consultant neurologist at NHS Grampian and clinical reader at the University of Aberdeen, said: “People with Parkinson’s have a very high risk of hospital admission. More often than not, these admissions are unplanned and lead to longer stays in hospital.

“In 2015-16 more than 4,000 people with Parkinson’s were admitted to hospital in Scotland. On average they stayed almost 18 days. That’s more than 75,000 bed days that already have to be resourced, and as the prevalence of Parkinson’s increases, the demand for services is only going to increase.”