THE LIFELINE stroke support service which was facing the axe last month is secure for another year after Worcestershire County Council confirmed it would provide funding.
We reported last month how the £89,000-a-year-contract could come to an end on April 1 following a spending review by the authority.
But now it is guaranteed until March 31, 2020, following an intensive consultation between the county council, Coun Karen May and the Stroke Association.
The charity delivers stroke recovery services for hundreds of stroke survivors and their families throughout Worcestershire every year.
The service is jointly paid for by the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and the county council and the loss of half the cash would have had a devastating effect on post-stroke care in Worcestershire.
Sarah Adderley, The Stroke Association’s head of stroke support, said everyone was delighted with the decision.
“From the start of this process, we have sought to engage with the council so it could see first-hand the impact of the service on stroke survivors and their families and the wider community.
“We were also keen to understand their plans and to reinforce the government’s decision to name stroke as a priority condition within the newly published long-term plan.
“We will continue to deliver these vital support services thanks to the council’s decision.”
Coun May told The Standard: “I’m just relieved, as everyone who uses the service is, that the county council has agreed to the funding.
“It is important we give all the stroke survivors and their families the help they need to recover and the prevention of stroke is also in the NHS’ ten-year plan.”
Worcestershire has the unique advantage of having the only Life After Stroke Centre in the UK in Bromsgrove, meaning the back-up support for those who suffer a stroke is as good as it can be.
The cash also offers the best ‘value for money’ as providing the same level of support from private or independent care companies would have cost the county council a lot more.
Janice Boswell MBE, who is a stroke survivor and helps out at the Life After Stroke Centre, said: “There are more people having stroke and it is happening to people of all ages – from children to older people.
“When someone suffers a stroke they need people they can talk to about it and this is what the service provides.”
A Worcestershire County Council spokesperson said “We are pleased to be able to confirm that the funding for the Life After Stroke service has been secured for a further year until March 31, 2020.
“We recognise that this is a valued service, providing practical and emotional support for carers of stroke survivors.”