Table 2 of 6

PhasePercentage of people with Parkinson’s in this phaseAverage length in yearsCharacterService considerations could include:
Diagnosis11%1.6Post diagnosis before symptoms have become significant
  • Introduction to Parkinson’s nurse and relevant allied health professionals
  • Liaison with social care team regarding such things as employment, benefits and carer’s assessment
  • Self care programme – to encourage patient to take control
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy or counselling – to build resilience
  • Falls, bladder and bowel, mental health services as appropriate


This phase refers to the point when the person receives their diagnosis. We expect people to receive an appropriate diagnosis. This means that a person diagnosed with Parkinson’s should be provided with all the information they need to help them to adjust to life with the condition.

Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s can be an emotional experience and everyone will react to the news in their own way. Not everyone will want a lot of information or detail about Parkinson’s straight away. But it is very important that they know where to access more information and support when they are ready for it.

Think about your own experiences either personal or professional. How might you feel at this point?

The appropriate process for diagnosis as discussed in Section 1.8 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . SIGN and NICE guidelines recommend that if a GP suspects that a person has Parkinson’s, they should be referred untreated to a specialist in movement disorders before any treatment is considered. This can be a neurologist or elderly care physician.

Not everyone will immediately go on to a medication regimen at the point of diagnosis. If symptoms are mild, some people, together with their specialist, may decide to postpone drug treatment until their symptoms increase.