THE search for a Parkinson’s disease nurse continues with recruitment rounds not finding a suitable candidate to care for the more than 800 patients in the South East region.
In April, Southern NSW Medical Local secured funding from the NSW Rural Doctors Network to facilitate a specialist neurological nurse, however a shortage of suitable candidates has left it going without.
Southern NSW Medicare Local CEO Kathryn Stonestreet said the role required unique skills to the care for the patients.
“The nurse specialist will identify the needs of people living with Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions, and assist them to coordinate their care with other practitioners including GPs, specialists and allied health professionals,” she said.
“Unfortunately our previous recruitment rounds did not identify any suitable applicants for this position.
“We are now proceeding with another recruitment round and are committed to appointing to the position as soon as possible.”
Medicare Local’s allied and health promotion manager Nina Holland said while there was no direct statistics available on Parkinson’s disease in the South East, its prevalence in rural areas is recognised.
“A 2005 study estimated prevalence in one NSW regional town was 415 per 100,000 residents,” she said.
“This indicates a potential client base in excess of 800 over this region over the Southern NSW Medicare Local footprint of 44,500 square kilometres.”
Ms Stonestreet is hopeful they will find a nurse to provide valuable support to Parkinson’s patients.
“This position will provide services across the South East region and we are open to the position being located at any of our five sites across the region and are hopeful that this will attract an increased number of applicants,” she said.
“Parkinson’s NSW and the NSW Rural Doctors Network continue in their support of assisting us to secure a registered nurse with the right experience and passion for this role.”