NHS in South West pledges support for stroke survivors on World Stroke Day

The Medical Director of the NHS in the South West has today given her backing to a new tool to help survivors of a stroke.

To mark World Stroke Day, Liz Mearns urged people to make use of a new online platform and guide for stroke survivors, and their families and carers.

Prevention and treatment of heart disease and strokes is a key part of a new long term plan for the NHS in England, with around 80,000 people admitted every year to hospital with a stroke.

Strokes are the fourth biggest killer in the country, and of the one million stroke survivors in the UK, more than half have a disability as a result.

Developed by the Stroke Association, ‘My Stroke Guide’ is a free resource with over 200 videos, practical tools and information sources for survivors to share their experiences and obtain advice on managing the effects of stroke, as well as prevention and improving health.

Professor Tony Rudd, National Clinical Director for Stroke at NHS England said:

“World stroke day is an opportunity to highlight the work being done to prevent and improve stroke care, and this is a useful resource for stroke survivors and their families.

“The long term plan for the NHS will build on significant progress in stroke care over the past decade, which will mean we can save more lives, help more people stay healthy and help stroke survivors to continue to live well.”

Liz Mearns, Medical Director South West, NHS England, said: 

“Thousands of people are admitted to hospital in the South West each year after suffering a stroke and this new toolkit will mean that alongside NHS treatment, stroke survivors and their families will be able to get better care and support.”

To identify people most at risk of a stroke, NHS England is leading a national programme of work, with a number of partners including the Stroke Association, the British Heart Foundation, Public Health England and the British Association of Stroke Physicians, to improve identification and interventions across the range of conditions associated with stroke and cardiovascular disease.

Whilst stroke incidences and mortality rates have declined over the last few years, 70% of strokes could still be prevented, including by limiting risk factors associated with stroke like obesity and smoking.

The likelihood of experiencing a stroke increases with age.

One in four stroke survivors is a working age adult.

Although stroke can affect anyone, it occurs more frequently in some ethnic minority groups and across lower income groups.  On average a stroke is likely to occur 10 years earlier for people from African and Afro-Caribbean background, and seven years earlier for all ethnicities linked to areas of deprivation; lower income, education and occupation status.

In April 2017 NHS England announced that it would commission mechanical thrombectomy for the treatment of acute stroke in 24 centres across the country.