Clive Betts – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Clive Betts on 2014-06-09.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to prevent unnecessary delays in the prescription of Duodopa for people with Parkinson’s.

Norman Lamb

From April 2013, NHS England assumed responsibility for commissioning adult specialist neurosciences services, including the majority of services for patients with Parkinson’s disease, with some being the responsibility of clinical commissioning groups.

NHS England has advised that it does not routinely fund Duodopa (co-careldopa) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Clinicians can submit individual funding requests for this treatment on behalf of their patients as per NHS England’s individual funding requests standard operating procedure, which is found at the following link:


NHS England has advised that its individual funding request process is monitored against the standard operating procedure to ensure that referring clinicians are informed of outcomes in a timely manner.

Treatments for Parkinson’s are largely drug based and there is a choice of therapies available. Parkinson’s disease: Diagnosis and management in primary and secondary care, published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in 2006, makes it clear that communication with people with Parkinson’s disease should be aimed towards empowering them to participate in the judgements and choices about their own care. With regard to decisions about the drugs available for treatment of the disease in its later stages, the guidance states that the patient preference should be taken into account, once they have been informed of the short- and long-term benefits and drawbacks of the different types of drugs available.

To reduce avoidable harm, through the Mandate we have asked NHS England to make measurable progress by 2015 to embed a culture of patient safety in the NHS including through improved reporting of incidents. The NHS Outcomes Framework contains a range of indicators designed to measure progress in this area of care which will be relevant to patients with all conditions, including, Parkinson’s disease.