Nurse highlights impact of Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson's Nurse Pete Smith
Parkinson's Nurse Pete Smith

A BBC Lifeline programme is set to follow the city’s Parkinson’s nurse in a short documentary, due to air later this month.

The ten minute short follows Pete Smith, a nurse working for NHS community and mental health services in Milton Keynes, on a visit to one of his patients.

Mr Smith wanted to help raise awareness about the illness, especially as doctors and nurses are beginning to learn more.

He said: “It took a little while getting used to the cameras, but it is well worth it if it promotes this condition.

“We know that sufferers are now living longer, with a better quality of life than they were just a decade ago.

“I am privileged in my role, to support those with the condition, and their carers, to do our best to manage their symptoms.”

The documentary follows Mr Smith as he visits one MK man who has the progressive condition. It is his job to ensure patients receive the best care possible and to contact consultants, therapists and other support when it is required.

Director of Fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, Mr Paul Jackson-Clark, expressed concern that public awareness of Parkinson’s is so low: “Despite one person every hour being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, public awareness is still low.

“We are delighted that BBC Lifeline selected us to help raise vital awareness and funds for this debilitating condition.

“We know that Parkinson’s nurses literally offer a lifeline to people, and our appeal aims to grow our nursing provision across the UK to ensure that nobody who needs a nurse has to face Parkinson’s alone.”

Parkinson’s mainly effects people who are over 50. However, it does affect younger people too, with one in 20 Parkinson’s sufferers under the age of 40.