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 runs until Sunday, organised by Parkinson’s UK.

Her role, funded for two years by the charity, will help people cope with the condition and enjoy a better quality of life.

She will work closely with 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, who may feel isolated.

“Also I hope I can support other nursing staff on wards treating patients with Parkinson’s disease – as patients often have very complex needs – assess how they are functioning in their own environment and reduce their stay in hospital.”

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

Visit parkinsons.org.uk for details.