A NORTH Wales politician highlighted the need for more specialist nurses during Parkinson's Disease Week.
Janet Ryder, Plaid Cymru AM for North Wales, met up with Sally Roberts, the region's only nurse specialist for the disease who is based at Glan Clwyd Hospital and covers the Denbighshire and Conwy areas.
Ms Ryder has called for more specialised nurses for some time, particularly at Wrexham Maelor Hospital and Ysbyty Gwynedd. Wrexham area has a cluster of Parkinson's Disease patients, yet does not have its own nurse.
Following their discussion about the many benefits provided to sufferers by a specialist nurse working in the community and in hospital, Ms Ryder said: 'Parkinson's Disease nurse specialists offer invaluable support, knowledge and skills in dealing with patients with the disease. 'There are few neurologists anyway and not many of these have an interest in Parkinson's Disease. In addition, not many GPs have any specialist knowledge and this creates a huge vacuum. The development of nurse specialists would fill that gap in specialised knowledge and clinical care.
'In Glan Clwyd Hospital we are lucky to have a consultant geriatrician who has a special interest in Parkinson's Disease and he has led the development of the service. The work that Sally Roberts does is invaluable.'
Sally Roberts said: 'We should strive towards equal access to services for people living with Parkinson's Disease across north Wales.'