A €10 million international trial to evaluate a new model of care to improve the quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s disease is to be conducted by the RUH and the University of Bristol.
The five-year trial, funded by The Gatsby Foundation, is being led by Dr Emily Henderson, a Geriatrician at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol.
It is anticipated that approximately 1,000 patients with Parkinson’s from the RUH catchment area will be recruited for the trial.
It will be conducted in collaboration with the University of Bristol and Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, and will see the implementation of a new integrated care model designed specifically for people with Parkinson’s disease across two health hubs – here in Bath and Nijmegen in the Netherlands.
The aim of the trial is to bridge the gap between different care providers who all play a role in supporting people with Parkinson’s, improving the experience of patients.
Dr Henderson said: “The critical issue for people living with Parkinson’s is that there are many different health professionals involved in their care and people’s experience in accessing that care can be really quite fragmented.
“This study is looking at reorganising the way in which we structure care so rather than doing it in a rather rigid and regimented way we will be trying to target care based on people’s needs.
“For example, someone in the early onset of Parkinson’s may not need to see a doctor every six months, but may need ready access to highly specialised physiotherapists.
“We will be taking the best of the models we have been seeing implemented abroad. Rather than having a ‘one size fits all’ model, it will be a specialised and bespoke approach to treating each patient.
“We are delighted to be partnering with The Gatsby Foundation and Radboud University Medical Centre to design and deliver this exciting innovation in Parkinson’s care in the United Kingdom.”
Professor Bas Bloem of Radboudumc and co-principal investigator of the new study, said: “The only way to overcome the current impasse in healthcare is to have two critical components at your disposal: firstly, adequate funding to cover the gap between the ideal model of care and what is currently reimbursed by national healthcare systems or insurers; and secondly, a sufficient amount of time to scientifically demonstrate that the new concept works, as reflected by an improved quality of life for patients as well as cost savings for society.
“We are extremely grateful to the Gatsby Foundation that we are now offered the unique opportunity to implement and evaluate this exciting new model of care for people with Parkinson’s.”
The project, entitled Proactive and Integrated Management and Empowerment in Parkinson’s Disease (PRIME-PD), will be rigorously evaluated to determine the extent to which health can be improved and health care costs can be reduced.