A new Parkinson’s nurse specialist at Airedale Hospital is backing a national campaign aimed at helping people better understand the disease.

Margaret Ormerod is staging an information display at the hospital to tie in with an awareness week, which is organised by Parkinson’s UK and runs until Sunday.

Her role, funded for two years by the charity, is designed to help people cope with the condition and enjoy a better quality of life. She will work closely with both the Skipton and Keighley Parkinson’s Disease groups, consultant geriatricians and neurologists.

“Parkinson’s is a big problem, affecting 400 patients in the area, who are usually seen in their own homes and at clinics,” she said. “I am keen to be a patients’ advocate, supporting them, dealing with their diagnosis and development of the disease and helping their families. I will also help patients to fine tune their medication, and as part of a multi-disciplinary team I can signpost them to others who can assist.”

Symptoms of Parkinson’s – caused by a loss of nerve cells in the brain – can include tremors or stiffness, slow movements, depression, possibly dementia and tiredness.

For further information, visit parkinsons.org.uk.