Malcolm's support for specialist nurses

A PARKINSON'S disease patient has today told how a specialist nurse helped to transform his life by spotting that he was on the wrong medication.Malcolm Hannatt, 58, of Fletcher Road, Ipswich, was diagnosed with the condition in 2003 and found the news very hard to come to terms with.

A PARKINSON'S disease patient has today told how a specialist nurse helped to transform his life by spotting that he was on the wrong medication.

Malcolm Hannatt, 58, of Fletcher Road, Ipswich, was diagnosed with the condition in 2003 and found the news very hard to come to terms with.

Mr Hannatt contacted The Evening Star following the launch of a campaign to save the specialist nurses at Ipswich Hospital from being axed to save money.

He said: “I've always been very active so to be told I had Parkinson's was a real shock.


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“I became very depressed and used to be up all night because my arms and legs were so restless. It was like I was peddling a bike all night.

“I put up with it for a year because I just thought it was what was going to happen from now on but when the specialist nurse, Helen Williams, came out to see me she realised almost immediately that my problems could be down to the medication I was taking.”

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Mr Hannatt, who is field secretary of the Morland Road Allotments, had his prescriptions changed and began to see a benefit within weeks.

He said: “Things got a lot better. I still get restless from time to time but things are much more under control.

“I have to take 15 different drugs a day and they are constantly reviewed. I can't do all the things I want to do but I'm much better.

“Helen's support has been amazing. It was very hard finding out I had Parkinson's but she is always there at the end of the phone if we need anything and she's able to give us support and reassurance.

“When she comes round she will spend a good hour here talking to me and my wife. You don't get that kind of care anywhere else.”

It emerged on Friday that Mrs Williams has been given a stay of execution until March 2007, but the hospital is still considering plans to axe up to 40 similar jobs in a bid to pay back its £24m debt.

Hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell said: “Through external funding and delivering services in a slightly different way we have been able to secure the employment of the Parkinson's Disease nurse specialist in the short-term and we will obviously work towards the long-term future as well.”

n. Have the specialist nurses helped you? Write to The Evening Star news desk, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

To show your support for the nurses fill in the form on this page or go to www.eveningstar.co.uk/angels

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