Goal A: Make stroke the priority it needs to be

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the UK. But it hasn’t received the public and political attention it needs – especially when compared to other conditions of equivalent scale and impact, such as cancer and dementia. This has had a considerable impact on stroke treatment and research.

It’s so important that stroke care is top of the agenda so survivors can see they will not just be left, but actually supported, helped and motivated to make a new path for themselves. Everyone, wherever they live, deserves the opportunity to live the best life they can.
Karen, stroke survivor and campaigner

Why did we make this our goal?

Huge variations in the availability and delivery of stroke treatments across the UK are affecting people’s survival and recovery. For example, some stroke centres offer clotbusting thrombolysis to everyone who is eligible, while others aren’t able to offer it at all. This means that thousands of people who could benefit from this potentially life-saving treatment go without.

Similarly, up to 10,000 people a year could potentially benefit from thrombectomy, the game-changing clot retrieval procedure. Yet in 2016/17, fewer than 800 people in the UK received it. As a result, far too many stroke survivors live with avoidable disability.

Stroke research is also under-funded compared to other conditions. Currently the annual funding for stroke research equates to £48 for every stroke patient. This pales in comparison to £241 per person with cancer and £118 per person with dementia. It’s imperative that we change this – stroke research is vital in creating the evidence, tools and techniques for future breakthroughs in treatment and care, in turn helping to reduce the personal and economic burden of stroke.

Millions of people across the UK have a connection to stroke, but most don’t see it as a cause that needs their involvement. We want these people to understand the scale and impact of stroke. To engage with stroke as a condition, take action to reduce their own stroke risk and benefit from support. And to inspire them to give time, voice and money to the cause.

It’s clear that stroke is playing catch-up. But we aim to drive it forward. We want governments, funders and providers in each country of the UK to make stroke the priority it needs to be.

We want to see:

  • Ambitious strategies and well-funded improvement plans which rival the best in the world.
  • Closing inequality gaps in stroke treatment and outcomes.
  • Increased investment in stroke research and capacity, that prioritises research that achieves the greatest impact for people rebuilding their lives after stroke.
  • More people connected to stroke giving time, voice and money to rebuilding lives after stroke.

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