Responding to the NHS England findings that 4.7million people are waiting for operations in England:
Laura Cockram, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Parkinson’s UK, said:
“Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is just one of the operations that have been affected throughout the last 12 months and is likely to be impacted in the coming months. It is not a cure for Parkinson’s, but it can be life-changing for those who are eligible. It has the power to drastically improve physical symptoms, including tremors and rigidity and reduce the amount of medication someone takes every day. But the therapy is only effective if performed in a limited window. We are increasingly concerned that with increased waiting lists, some people with Parkinson’s may miss their opportunity to benefit from this treatment.
“Worryingly, over the course of January to November 2020, new DBS implants plummeted by 63%. We know that waiting lists continue to grow, and so some people will no longer be suitable. We cannot let coronavirus impact the health of those living with other long-term conditions like Parkinson’s by being slow to restart life-changing, but time-sensitive, procedures like DBS.”