MP backs mental health rethink after 'shocking' Parkinson's report

David Duguid MP has expressed his concern that nearly half of all people with Parkinsons experience mental health symptoms
David Duguid MP has expressed his concern that nearly half of all people with Parkinsons experience mental health symptoms

The MP for Banff and Buchan has pledged to help overhaul local care for Parkinson’s after a report reveals a shocking lack of mental health support for the condition.

David Duguid is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Parkinson’s, which launched a report entitled Mental Health Matters Too at Westminster.

The Scottish Conservative MP has expressed his concern that nearly half of all people with Parkinson’s experience mental health symptoms, such as anxiety and depression yet only a quarter of those affected receive any treatment for it.

He now backs its calls to overhaul the NHS and deliver a more “joined up” approach to care for all aspects of the condition.

Mr Duguid, whose grandfather had Parkinson's, said: “This is an extremely important report, which highlights truly shocking findings that need to be addressed.

“I have made a commitment today to contact local health authorities to discuss how we can ensure that people with Parkinson’s in Banff and Buchan get timely and effective treatment that addresses not just the physical symptoms, but the psychological symptoms too.”

Research for the report, provided by the charity Parkinson’s UK, shows the hidden psychological symptoms of Parkinson’s are one of its biggest challenges.

Anxiety and depression are a particular concern for people with Parkinson’s as they have been shown to worsen other symptoms.

And last year the APPG conducted an inquiry into the support available for people with Parkinson’s who experience anxiety or depression.

The report reveals that there are significant problems faced by people with Parkinson’s who have anxiety or depression, from diagnosis through to treatment.

As a result, the APPG has drawn up specific recommendations to address these issues and radically improve the service.

While the report is focused on England, many of the issues identified reflect the experience of people in the devolved nations as well.

For more information on key findings and recommendations from the inquiry, Mental Health Matters Too can be accessed via the Parkinson’s UK website on www.parkinsons.org.uk/mentalhealthmatters.