Jackie Baillie MSP
Jackie Baillie MSP

– Parkinson’s UK Scotland estimates that there are 100,000 Parkinson’s medication errors each year in Scotland’s hospitals – placing people with Parkinson’s at risk of severe harm
– Nearly 20,000 people across the UK signed a petition calling for mandatory staff training on Parkinson’s drugs in hospitals – nearly 2,500 signatories were based in Scotland.
– Jackie Baillie MSP received the Scottish signatures at an online event for Parkinson’s campaigners on Thursday 01 October.

Parkinson’s medication is a lifeline for 12,400 people with Parkinson’s in Scotland – people need their medicine to move, swallow and communicate, to perform bodily functions and to maintain their mental health. Everyone has their own individual regime, and needs to take their medication at precise times to stay in control of their symptoms.

About 1 in 4 people with Parkinson’s are admitted to hospital each year in Scotland – many of them more than once. But going into hospital is frightening and unsafe as medications are often delayed or missed, making people very unwell. Fewer than half of all Parkinson’s medicines are administered on time. The consequences can leave patients unable to walk or talk, and significantly increase their length of stay in hospital. They can even be fatal.

On Thursday 1 October Jackie Baillie MSP was joined on Zoom by hundreds of campaigners as well as decision makers from all four countries of the UK. They were united by the need to make sure everyone gets their Parkinson’s medication on time in hospitals. This year has been the toughest ever faced by the NHS, but for people with Parkinson’s, getting their medication on time in hospital has been a challenge for years and there’s still a long way to go.

Parkinson’s UK Scotland believes that simple practical measures – like connecting electronic prescribing to alert systems, educating professionals about the importance of Parkinson’s medication timings, and enabling people to administer their own Parkinson’s medication in hospital will make a huge difference.

Jackie Baillie MSP has also shown that she is committed to delivering change. Receiving the petition, Jackie said:

“It’s clear that people with Parkinson’s and their families in Scotland want to see improvements to hospital care. My constituent, Fiona Donald, who lives in Helensburgh and has Parkinson’s, has told me exactly why we need action. It is simply unacceptable that over half of the 215 people with Parkinson’s who are in hospital on any given day will not get their vital medication on time. The horrendous experiences that people and their families report must stop. The buck stops with politicians and I am proud to commit my support to campaigning for change.”

One year on from Parkinson UK Scotland’s report ‘Get it on Time’ more action is desperately needed to enforce its 8 recommendations.

Annie Macleod, Director of Parkinson’s UK Scotland said:
“We want to thank Jackie Baillie for standing alongside the Parkinson’s community in Scotland. No-one should fear going into hospital because they have Parkinson’s, and the current picture is frightening.

“The solutions to this life-threatening problem already exist. They’ve been developed by hardworking and under-resourced Parkinson’s nurse specialists, doctors and pharmacists across Scotland. It’s encouraging to see thousands of people including Jackie Baillie MSP join us in telling the Scottish government and NHS Scotland that people with Parkinson’s must get their medication on time, every time in hospital.”


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