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New Advanced Nurse Practitioner Led Parkinson’s Clinic commences in Sligo

Sligo University Hospital (SUH) and Community Healthcare Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo (CDLMS) are delighted to introduce the first Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) Led Parkinson’s Clinic at Sligo University Hospital.

The clinic was established to integrate all patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease who are under the care of a Consultant Neurologist or Consultant Geriatrician at SUH or Community Healthcare CDLMS into a single ANP led clinic for assessment and follow-up care.

Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative condition after Alzheimer’s disease. There are approximately 15,000 people living with Parkinson’s disease in Ireland (Parkinson’s Ireland).

Gavan Duffy, Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Movement Disorders and Clinic Lead, said, "My role is to provide a full comprehensive neurological assessment of people with Parkinson’s disease, give advice and support to patients, families, and carers, and, if needed, refer patients to other healthcare professionals for follow up care. Currently I manage approximately 400 patients through outpatient, telephone, and virtual review clinics.

“This new clinic is the first step towards a more integrated approach in the management of Parkinson's disease. It will ensure more regular reviews of people with Parkinson’s, improve patient outcomes while lowering hospital admissions, and also free up consultants to see people with other conditions.

“My hope is that this clinic will ultimately embrace a fully multidisciplinary team approach to Parkinson's disease, including evaluations by a Speech and Language Therapist, Dietician, Occupational Therapist, and Physiotherapist,” added Gavin.

After qualifying with a Diploma in Nursing in 2001, Gavan undertook his nursing training at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin. During that time, he worked in a variety of specialties, including the National Spinal Unit, Urological Surgery, Orthopaedics, and Hemodialysis.  He began his career in Neurology as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Multiple Sclerosis, and after obtaining his Master's degree in Advanced Nursing Practice from University College Dublin in 2020, he became an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Movement Disorders.

"This nurse led service will provide an advanced level of nursing practice that provides in-depth nursing knowledge and expertise in meeting the health needs of individuals living with Parkinson's disease and their families," said Maura Heffernan, Director of Nursing at Sligo University Hospital.”

Grainne McCann, Hospital Manager said, “Advanced Nurse Practitioners are redefining patient care via an enlarged scope of practice, more clinical autonomy, and decision-making.

“This ANP service represents a significant advancement in an integrated approach to the management and care of Parkinson’s disease by combining hospital and community services to provide high-quality patient-centered care in one place, in a timely manner.”

Melissa Kelly, General Manager, Older Persons Services, Community Healthcare CDLMS said, “The new ANP clinic is a positive achievement in the move towards integrated management and care delivery.

The ANP clinic will ensure patients using the service will receive specialist knowledge which will improve patients outcomes and lived experience.”

The article above is specific to the following Saolta hospitals:: 
Sligo University Hospital (SUH)