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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 11 September 2018

Bath geriatrician is the UK lead for a €10 million international trial into Parkinson's disease patient care

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 will be conducted by the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bristol, thanks to funding from The Gatsby Foundation.

The five-year trial is 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.

About The Gatsby Foundation

Gatsby is a foundation set up by David Sainsbury to realise his charitable objectives in plant science research, neuroscience research, science and engineering education, economic development in Africa, public policy, and the arts. We are proactive in devising projects to achieve our aims. We are enthusiastic about supporting innovation. We are analytical as we believe it is important to understand the opportunities and problems we tackle. We take a long-term view as we do not think much can be achieved by short, one-off projects. We are always eager to form partnerships with organisations who share our goals.

For further information or to interview any of the researchers involved in this study, please contact Joanne Fryer, Media Manager, University of Bristol [Mon to Wed], tel+44 (0)117 394 0227, email and Caroline Clancy, Media Manager, University of Bristol, email [Wed to Fri] tel +44 (0) 117 428 2407 or, tel +44 (0)117 428 2489.

Notes to Editor
  • The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust provides acute treatment and care for a catchment population of around 500,000 people in Bath, and the surrounding towns and villages in North East Somerset and Western Wiltshire. The hospital provides healthcare to the population served by four Clinical Commissioning Groups: Bath & North East Somerset CCG, Wiltshire CCG, Somerset CCG and South Gloucestershire CCG.
  • The Trust has 759 beds and a comprehensive range of acute services including medicine and surgery, services for women and children, accident and emergency services, and diagnostic and clinical support services.
  • In 2015 The Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was acquired the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) NHS Foundation Trust. The RNHRD treats patients from across the country offering services in rheumatology, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, cancer related fatigue and fatigue linked to other long term conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
  • The RUH is changing - we have an exciting programme of redevelopment underway transforming our site and further improving the services we provide. The Trust is now working towards building a purpose built RNHRD and Therapies Centre and a new Dyson Cancer Centre. For more details visit:
  • For more information about the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust visit:

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