Campaign launched to improve stroke care

By Tristan Harris 01/05 Updated: 02/05 13:31

Buy photos » The Stroke Association's regional fund-raiser Sophie James, with stroke survivors Lynda Jones and Graham Hughes and the charity's chief executive Jon Barrick. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

A CHARITY has launched a campaign in a bid to improve the care, help and support stroke survivors across the West Midlands get from the NHS and local authorities.

The Stroke Association has made the calls after shocking statistics released today (Tuesday) showed 38 per cent of stroke survivors across the region had not even received an assessment of their health and care needs.

Fifty-three per cent of those in the West Midlands whose stroke occurred in the last three years had received just one assessment and only 34.4 per cent of those had received a proper care plan outlining the services and treatments they would be receiving.

The figures in the charity's Struggling to Recover report come at the start of Action on Stroke Month.

The Stroke Association is now calling for the NHS and local authorities to ensure all stroke survivors have their health and social needs assessed and regularly reviewed. The National Stroke Strategy for England states Stroke survivors should receive an assessment at six weeks after leaving hospital, a second one at six months and then one every year after that.

This, The Stroke Association says, will prevent crisis admissions to care homes and hospitals.

The charity also wants to see an improved co-ordination of health and social care services so stroke survivors and carers can better manage their condition.

And the organisation wants to see better training for all health and social care professionals who come into contact with stroke survivors, so they can better understand the condition.

Sophie James is from the UK's first ever Life After Stroke Centre which, based in Bromsgrove, offers services for stroke survivors, their families and carers, and has training facilities for health professionals.

She said more people than ever were surviving stroke, which was good, but added more needed to be done because, at the moment, stroke survivors were feeling abandoned as soon as they left hospital.

"The NHS and local authorities are failing in their responsibilities to provide appropriate and timely support to stroke survivors and their families - and the growing evidence of cuts for people currently getting services is very worrying.

"Appropriate assessment and provision of services at the right time improves quality of life for stroke survivors and their families.

"We want every stroke survivor to receive the best support and opportunity to recover and adjust to life after stroke."

The Life After Stroke Centre will be officially opened on May 15 by HRH the Duke of Kent, The Stroke Association's Royal President

For more on the campaign, visit www.stroke.org.uk/campaigns

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