Launched in 1997, World Parkinson’s Day (WPD) occurs on 11th April every year to help raise awareness of the condition.

This year, our colleagues from the Physical Disability Physiotherapy Service (PDPS) and the Adult Speech and Language Therapy team (ASLT) chose to mark the day by running a joint event – offering self-management skills, advice and community information to some of those currently on their department waiting lists who are living with Parkinson’s.

With the support of charity funding, stationery supplies were purchased to help advertise the event and capture patient feedback, and Kidlington Methodist Church was also hired as the event venue. This location ensured that attendees would benefit from a more relaxed, non-clinical setting – helping to both reduce any potential apprehension for, and encourage more informal social interaction between, the day’s participants. 

The church’s separate areas proved ideal spaces for the two teams to:

  • create a social space – decorated with WPD-themed, charity-funded decorations.
  • run their educational and practical group sessions.
  • hold 1:1 interactions with service users as required.

During the day, the 22 patients, and their partners/carers, benefited from educational sessions which focussed on aspects such as LOUD therapy, swallowing, and the benefits of exercise. The practical exercise programme introduced those living with Parkinson’s to sessions of high intensity amplitude training (the importance of making BIG movements) and Tai Chi.


During breaktimes, members of Parkinson’s UK’s (Oxford branch) delivered refreshments (also supplied through Oxford Health Charity funds) while discussing their community projects with participants and leaflets/advice sheets, detailing local social activities and exercise providers, were also available.

Positive outcomes recorded from the day included:

ü  Service users, who would otherwise have continued to incur a long wait to be seen, having access to help and advice from physiotherapy and speech and language therapists.

ü  Participants being equipped with newly learned self-management techniques they could choose to start implementing at home.

ü  Staff being able to deliver information in a more efficient way.

ü  Partners/carers enhancing their knowledge and understanding of techniques, exercise etc. to help support those living with Parkinson’s.

ü  An increased awareness of local support and activities available for those living with the condition.

The charity team were delighted to be able to support this new joint venture between PDPS and ASLT and were thrilled to hear of its success, as Emily (Clinical Lead Physiotherapist, PDPS) shared some of the positive feedback received by the event’s participants:

On behalf of both services, Emily also expressed thanks to the charity team for their support, noting that, without charity funding…

“We could not have run the event as a combined project between the two teams, which would have limited the benefit for the participants. Thank you very much for making this day possible.” 😊

With the event forming part of a wider QI project that will focus on waiting list management, we look forward to hearing how the teams will now progress the observations and conclusions taken from the day.

  • Parkinson's is the world's fastest growing neurological condition, for which there is currently no cure.
  • 1 in 37 people living in the UK today will be diagnosed with Parkinson's in their lifetime.
  • Around 153,000 people are already living with Parkinson's in the UK; two more people are diagnosed with the condition every hour - that's 18,000 people every year.

To find out more about Parkinson's in the UK, please visit: Parkinson's UK.