Local MP advocates the need for greater focus on healthcare needs of patients with degenerative conditions.

This week in Liverpool, Member of Parliament for Torfaen, Nick Thomas-Symonds MP has met with representatives from numerous healthcare charities to listen to their concerns. Among these charities was Parkinson’s UK, a national charity that drives better care, treatments and quality of life for those with the condition, including ensuring medication is received “on time- every time”. Mr Thomas-Symonds pledged to continue to speak up for those with Parkinson’s, not least with regard to how people are too often subjected to unnecessary repeat face-to-face medical assessments in accessing social security support.

Mr. Thomas-Symonds has been a strong supporter of those with Parkinson’s since his election in 2015. During that campaign, he pledged to raise awareness of Parkinson’s in Parliament. According the Parkinson’s UK, it is estimated that every hour in the UK, two-people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and affects roughly 145,000 people in the UK: that is around one in every 350 people.

Nick has supported numerous campaigns such as the “We won’t wait” campaign in 2017 which advocated for the need to act urgently to improve access to potentially life-changing research developments that could improve both treatments and access to medication, and the “Mental Health Matters Too” report, released in Parliament in May 2018 which revealed a need for greater mental health support for the condition. 

Nick has also been elected Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Parkinson’s. To further raise awareness of the issues faced by those with Parkinson’s, to mark 200 years since Dr. James Parkinson’s essay on “the Shaking Palsy”, Mr. Thomas-Symonds secured an adjournment debate in Parliament to address the issues of young-onset Parkinson’s Disease. As he stated in the debate in 2017, “we know about the three principal symptoms-the tremor, the muscle stiffness and the slowness of movement – but unfortunately there is still no cure 200 years later.”

Eighteen months on from that debate, the statement still holds true. No cure has yet been found. When asked about Parkinson’s UK and its work, Mr Thomas-Symonds stated:

“Meeting with Parkinson’s UK always hammers home how vital the need is to increase understanding and work together to to improve the lives of those with Parkinson’s and those family members, friends and carers who are affected by it.

Since my election to Parliament in 2015, working with the local Parkinson’s UK branch and with Parkinson’s U.K. at a national level, I have campaigned on this cause, and will continue to do so.”

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