Life After Stroke Campaign

Every year in the UK there are 152,000 strokes.  After this traumatic experience, survivors and their families are keen to get on with their lives.

At the Stroke Association, we believe that all stroke survivors should have the right to make their best possible recovery.  This means supporting people back to a quality life after a stroke.  We wanted to find out what this is like for people and so launched the Life After Stroke campaign - read a review of what people told us here.

Recovery means different things to different people.  For some it might be being able to pick up the kids on the school run, for others returning to work.  Recovery is as unique as individuals 

Unfortunately too many stroke survivors and their families have been telling us that barriers are standing in the way of them being able to recover.  These barriers include health and social care not working together or the benefits system not understanding stroke and its impacts.  That's why we launched the Life After Stroke campaign.

The first phase was the launch of Struggling to Recover (in May 2012). This highlighted the findings of one of the UK largest ever surveys of stroke survivors and their families.  

Eric Sinclair's Story

Eric SinclairEric Sinclair, 63, ran his own consultancy and training business, enjoyed his work and lifestyle.

But in July 2004 he had a stroke during a trip to Norway. After two weeks in hospital, Eric was transferred back to a stroke unit in Scotland. Eric describes long periods of enforced idleness in a noisy ward with loud televisions. Physiotherapy there was limited to two or three 30-minute sessions per week.

Eric received very little help on leaving hospital, and mentions in particular the lack of a systematic, regular review for stroke patients. Despite his repeated requests for NHS physiotherapy, Eric ended up paying for a qualified physiotherapist himself, crediting her with the fact that he is not living his life in a wheelchair.

Eric now lives at home with his wife and continues to improve physically. He started work about a year after his stroke and occasionally travels away from home to run courses for teachers.“All stroke survivors should access properly funded and staffed stroke units with specially trained staff. There must be better support and treatment in the community, pro-active post-hospital monitoring and a more positive relationship between the NHS and independent therapists.” says Eric.