Refer all suspected Parkinson's

GPs should refer all suspected cases of Parkinson's disease to specialists rather than initiating treatment themselves, according to NICE.

The final NICE clinical guideline on Parkinson's disease, issued this week, also states that GPs need to start commissioning specialist services for Parkinson's, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and palliative care.

Patients thought to have early Parkinson's disease should be seen by an expert for diagnosis within six weeks, with a referral time of two weeks recommended for those with signs of later stage disease or complications.

Patients with Parkinson's disease should have their diagnosis reviewed every six to 12 months.

The NICE guidance advises GPs to suspect the condition in people with tremor, stiffness, slowness and balance problems.

But it warns that essential tremor, which can develop with age, can be misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease, as can the effects of multiple mini-strokes. A recent study from North Wales suggested that the error rate of community-based diagnosis was almost 50 per cent.

A first-line drug treatment for Parkinson's disease was not stipulated in the guideline, as there is no strong evidence base for which classes of drugs are best in different stages of the disease.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GPs who visit care homes face mandatory COVID-19 vaccination, government confirms

GPs who visit care homes face mandatory COVID-19 vaccination, government confirms

All people working in care homes - including GPs visiting patients - will be required...

Just one seat on each NHS integrated care system board will represent GPs

Just one seat on each NHS integrated care system board will represent GPs

Representatives of general practice will hold just one out of 10 seats in total on...

Dorset GP Dr Helena McKeown stands down as BMA chief officer

Dorset GP Dr Helena McKeown stands down as BMA chief officer

BMA chief officer and chair of the association's representative body Dr Helena McKeown...

NHS to set up £30m GP enhanced service for long COVID

NHS to set up £30m GP enhanced service for long COVID

NHS England is set to commission a £30m GP enhanced service for long COVID to boost...

Three quarters of GPs face 'mental distress' after working through pandemic, BMA warns

Three quarters of GPs face 'mental distress' after working through pandemic, BMA warns

Three quarters of GPs are facing 'mental distress' because factors such as heavy...

NHS operating procedure for primary care to remain until UK lifts all COVID-19 restrictions

NHS operating procedure for primary care to remain until UK lifts all COVID-19 restrictions

The NHS standard operating procedure (SOP) for primary care will remain in place...