We set out our policy positions from Brexit to cutting-edge new stroke treatments like thrombectomy. Tackling the big issues important to stroke survivors, their families and the wider world of stroke.


Thrombectomy is an exciting and effective new way of treating strokes caused by a clot. It involves inserting a catheter into an artery to access a clot, usually within five hours of someone having their stroke, which is then mechanically removed. We want all eligible patients to be able to access this game-changing treatment as quickly as possible.

Download our position on thrombectomy for more information.

The stroke workforce

Every person who has had a stroke should be cared for by people with the right skills and knowledge to meet their needs across the whole stroke pathway. However, a shortage of appropriately trained staff is leading to shortfalls in care for many stroke patients and stroke survivors. 

Download our position on the stroke workforce for more information.

Devolution of health and social care

In the last few years, the UK Government has taken steps to give new powers to local councils, communities and neighbourhoods. This process is known as devolution. We are very interested in what the devolution of health and social care will mean for those affected by or at risk of stroke. Stroke survivors often rely heavily on their local NHS and social care services. Devolution could be important for stroke survivors if decisions made locally mean their treatment and care changes.

Download our position on the devolution of health and social care for more information.

Reorganising acute stroke services

Stroke patients should have access to the best possible treatment and care and a lot of progress has been made in several parts of the UK in recent years to make sure that happens, including reorganising hospital stroke services.

Download our position on reorganising acute stroke services for more information.

Disability benefits

Stroke is one of the biggest causes of disability, meaning many stroke survivors are likely to be entitled to disability benefits. It is important that the benefits system works for stroke survivors, but we know that too often this isn’t the case. Our survey of stroke survivors and carers has highlighted that claiming benefits is a difficult and complicated process.

Download our position on disability benefits for more information.

The need for a new national plan for stroke in England

Stroke survivors have told us they want a new National Stroke Strategy for England to make sure that everyone can expect and access the best treatment and support for a stroke, no matter where they live. The current strategy is ending soon. The Government says that we don’t need a strategy for stroke anymore and that improving stroke care can be done by other more general government plans. We disagree. Stroke is a unique condition and it needs its own plan to cover all areas of stroke treatment and care, from preventing avoidable strokes to recovering after a stroke.

Download our position on the need for a new national plan for stroke in England for more information.


The European Union has an enormous influence over areas which directly impact the lives of stroke survivors and it is important that those negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU deliver a deal that doesn’t disadvantage those affected by stroke.

Download our position on Brexit for more information.

A second Scottish referendum

We respect the right of politicians on all sides to use their own and their parliaments’ time to continue to debate Scottish independence. But while these debates are ongoing, the need to tackle stroke in Scotland doesn’t go away.

Download our position on a second Scottish referendum for more information.

Using animals in research

Stroke is the fourth biggest cause of death in the UK and single largest cause of disability. Research into new treatments is vital if we are to save lives and reduce disability. The Stroke Association funds research worth around £3 million every year and most of this involves people. A small part of our funding, however, goes on research where there is no alternative but to involve animals.

Download our position on using animals in research for more information.

Using stem cells in research

Half of all stroke survivors are left with a disability and we know that recovering from a stroke can be really challenging – stroke survivors tell us every day. We believe that everyone has the right to make the best recovery they can from stroke. Stem cell technology has the potential to help achieve this and that’s why we support the continued use of stem cells in research.

Download our position on using stem cells in research for more information.

End of life care

Sadly, stroke continues to be a major cause of death. It is the fourth biggest killer in the UK, with someone dying every thirteen minutes from the condition. That’s why it is important to understand, and deliver, high-quality end of life care for those whose strokes are likely to be fatal.  It’s also important that there is proper support for their families.

Download our position on end of life care for more information.

Childhood stroke

Stroke can happen at any age, including during childhood. Each year around 400 children in the UK will have a stroke. We know less about the factors leading to stroke in children than we do about the factors leading to stroke in adults. 

Download our position on childhood stroke for more information.


Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the UK, with four out of ten stroke survivors leaving hospital needing help with day-to-day activities. Research has shown that carers, rather than personal social services, provide the majority of care and support for stroke survivors. It is vital that all carers involved in decision making receive a carer’s assessment and that commissioning bodies provide appropriate services to properly address all of their needs. 

Download our position on carers for more information.

Prescription charges

Charges for prescription medication were introduced in 1952 to raise additional revenue to fund the NHS. Today, England is the only UK nation without universal free prescriptions. Wales abolished charges in 2007, Northern Ireland in 2010 and Scotland in 2011. As of April 2018 in England, a prescription costs £8.80 per item and according to the Government, prescription charges currently raise around £450 million each year.

Download our position on prescription charges for more information.


Current evidence shows that the risk to health posed by e-cigarettes in the short term is likely to be considerably less compared to smoking. But we are also calling for more research to show the long term impact on health.

Download our position on e-cigarettes for more information.

Research priorities

The Stroke Association has identified three priority areas for research.

Download our position on research priorities for more information.

PFO Closure

We believe stroke survivors who’ve had a stroke caused by a Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) should have access to all appropriate treatment options, including a PFO closure, to reduce their risk of further strokes.

Download our position on PFO Closure for more information.

Ambulance response to stroke

Stroke is a medical emergency, it's vital that anyone suspected of a stroke has an appropriate vehicle such as an ambulance to take them to a specialist stroke unit to get the treatment they need.

Download our position on ambulance response for more information.