Block that reads "Stroke is one of the most common killers in Scotland and the single largest cause of sever disability"
Block that reads "There are now over 128,000 stroke survivors in Scotland, projected to increase to 175,000 by 2035"

A new vision for stroke care in Scotland

Alexis Kolodzeij and John Watson with three others at a Parliamentary Reception on Thrombectomy in Edinburgh.

In March 2022, the Scottish Government published the 'Progressive Stroke Pathway'. It's an ambitious vision document that sets out what health boards must do, to achieve an ideal stroke service.

The document considers the whole stroke journey: preventing strokes, emergency response, acute medical care and rehabilitation both in hospital and the community.

Following the vision document, the Scottish Government published a Stroke Improvement Plan. This document outlines commitments that Health Boards in Scotland must undertake for stroke improvements. This includes equitable and timely access to diagnosis, treatment and care for people with suspected stroke.

There are certain elements of this plan we particularly endorse, including six-month reviews for every stroke patient and prioritisation of the psychological and emotional impact of stroke. Despite a great deal of progress in some areas, huge challenges remain. It is essential that a 24/7 national thrombectomy service remains a commitment and we encourage the Government to publish their 'detailed plan for further development' of this national service without delay. Read our full response to the Stroke Improvement plan.

Progress report on Keeping Stroke Recoveries in Mind

This World Stroke Day we are looking back at the progress made on psychological care in Scotland for Stroke survivors. Read our progress report where we reflect on last year’s recommendations and look ahead to how we can continue to make progress.

Read more about this on our page: Keeping stroke recoveries in mind.

2022 activity and achievements

Our focus in 2022 centered on engaging MSPs on thrombectomy, the psychological effects of stroke and the wider ongoing stroke improvement work.

Our influencing work resulted in a government U-turn in the funding of thrombectomy.

Our campaign on the psychological effects of stroke, including hosting an event to raise awareness of the challenges people affected by stroke, and supporting a lively debate in The Scottish Parliament, attended by the former Cabinet Secretary for Health, Humza Yousaf. We asked the Scottish Government to include The National Model of Psychological Care in their Plan, which they have done. This is a positive step towards increased awareness of the importance of psychological issues and need for more support.

In July and August of 2022, we focused on highlighting the importance of Thrombectomy - a game-changing treatment for stroke. We coordinated an MSP visit to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and published our 'Saving Brains' report demonstrating how effective this treatment can be. You can read our full piece and our 2023 updated piece.

Scottish stroke improvement programme report

On 27 June, the 2023 report for the Scottish stroke improvement programme was published.

Our Associate Director for Scotland, John Watson, has made a full statement on the report.

MSPs welcome stroke improvements at Ninewells Hospital

Dundee MSPs Joe FitzPatrick and Shona Robison accepted an invitation to visit the acute stroke unit at Ninewells Hospital in August 2022.

Read our full piece about highlighting progress with thrombectomy development for the North of Scotland, since the introduction of a pilot service at Ninewells in 2020.

Calum Rosie, intern at the Stroke Association describes his experience of working for the charity.

Read about Calum's 12 week experience trialing the new Public Affairs and Campaigns Assistant role at the Stroke Association.

What are we doing now?

We continue to provide secretariat to the Cross-Party Group on Stroke in the Scottish Parliament. We bring together MSPs, clinicians, researchers and people affected by stroke to provide oversight, and support for the implementation of the Stroke Action Plan. More information on the Group can be found on the Scottish Parliament website.

How can you get involved?

We need to work together to make this vision for stroke services a reality. Join our Campaigns Network now to get regular updates on our campaigns and simple ways to get involved.