UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network welcomes new directors – Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

The trio will be instrumental in the ongoing development of the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network, which aims to revolutionise the way health and social care services support people with Parkinson’s.

The role of clinical director will be shared by Dr Camille Carroll and Professor Richard Walker, while Dr Jonny Acheson will take on a newly created role of Director of Engagement and Communications. All three will start in their new positions over the summer between June and September, and will all continue with their clinical duties.

Camille is a consultant neurologist at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust and researcher at the University of Plymouth, who leads an award-winning service in the South West of England. She is the National Specialty Lead for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the National Institute of Health and Care Research and a member of the Association of British Neurologists Movement Disorder Advisory Group. Richard is a consultant geriatrician and researcher based at Northumbria Healthcare. He currently sits on the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network Clinical Leadership Team. He is the lead for Parkinson’s for the North East Dementias and Neurodegenerative Disease Research Network and on the national speciality group for Parkinson’s.

Camille said: “I’m delighted to be able to take on this new role alongside my co-director Richard and also my ongoing work in Plymouth. We’ve worked incredibly hard to ensure that we’re delivering patient-centric care in the South West of England. Now I’m keen to share our successes and learnings with wider members of the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network so that everyone with Parkinson’s, regardless of their location in the UK, receives the top quality of care that they deserve.”

Richard added: “I’ve been involved with the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network since the launch in 2015 and it’s a privilege to step into the role of co-clinical director. The Excellence Network does incredible work for the 145,000 people living with Parkinson’s across the UK striving for improvements in care every day. I’m looking forward to working alongside Camille in our co-director role, with each of us bringing our own specialism to the table.”

The UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network has more than 8,000 healthcare professionals and it encourages and supports professionals and members of the Parkinson’s community to work together to transform Parkinson’s services.

As director of engagement and communications, Jonny Acheson will take a leading role in growing participation in the network, and empowering people with Parkinson’s and members of the professional community to work together to improve health and care services. He will help ensure the Network is delivering on the things that matter for the Parkinson’s community and will take the lead on driving Parkinson’s up the agenda in all four nations. The Leicester-based emergency medicine consultant, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s six years ago and has become a driving force within the Parkinson’s community.

Jonny said: “I’m honoured to be taking on this new role with the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network. I’m in a unique position whereby I can see the challenges and potential solutions from both the perspective of a medical professional and someone living with the condition.

“Sometimes the things that will have the most impact, like educating the NHS workforce on the importance of people with Parkinson’s getting their time critical medications on time every time, are very simple but the challenge is in communicating clearly why their practice needs to change. I’m looking forward to working with other members of the Parkinson’s community, and my NHS colleagues, to shape and deliver these potentially life changing messages.”

Dr Rowan Wathes, associate director of the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network, said: “We’re delighted to have Camille, Richard and Jonny stepping into these vitally important roles within our Clinical Leadership Team. All three of them have long supported Parkinson’s UK and been active and supportive members of the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network. Each of them brings their own experience and expertise to the role. Together, their vision and leadership will help us to make sure that people with Parkinson’s are front and centre of developments in treatments, receiving the best possible multidisciplinary care.

“I’d also like to take the opportunity to express our gratitude to Donald Grosset, our outgoing clinical director. Donald has held the position for four-and-a-half years, and in that time he has been instrumental in transforming the Network’s approach to national service improvement, most notably through the Bone Health programme. He was also a pillar of support for the charity during the coronavirus pandemic, helping us to ensure that people with Parkinson’s could access relevant and timely information and support. Donald will continue on as a Senior Research Fellow and Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow conducting research into Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders. He will also remain involved with the Excellence Network as Clinical Lead for Service Improvement.”

For more information, please contact Laura Tucker, Head of Media and PR at Parkinson’s UK, on or 020 7963 9300

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