We believe in life after stroke. That’s why we actively campaign for better stroke care, working with politicians of all parties to ensure stroke remains high on the political agenda. It's why we fund research into finding new treatments, and also ways of reducing the risk of stroke across the UK. Find out what we're up to across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
In England, more than 100,000 people a year have a stroke. The care of stroke survivors, from diagnosis and initial management to rehabilitation and long-term management, is governed by the Department of Health's ten-year National Stroke Strategy for England, which sets out a framework for delivering effective stroke services.
The National Stroke Strategy came to an end in December 2017. The government have no current plans to renew it and we are campaigning to secure a new one to ensure stroke survivors get the support and treatment they need regardless of where they live. Read about our A New Era for Stroke campaign.
Social care is funded by local authorities, with care offered according to eligibility criteria. To enable more stroke survivors to make better recoveries, we want to help health and social care work more closely together for the benefit of all stroke survivors, no matter what the survivor's age or how long ago they had a stroke.
What can stroke survivors expect?
The National Stroke Strategy included several quality markers for the care and support of people after a stroke:
- Stroke-specialised rehabilitation in hospital, immediately after transfer to home or care home, and for as long as it continues to be of benefit.
- People with very severe stroke who are not expected to recover should receive active end of life care from an appropriately skilled workforce, whether in hospital or in the community.
- After stroke, people should be offered a review of their health, social care and secondary stroke prevention needs, typically within six weeks of leaving hospital, before six months have passed and then annually. This will ensure it is possible to access further advice, information and rehabilitation where needed.
In 2010, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) produced quality standards that focus on the clinical aspects of stroke care. These include:
- All patients after stroke are screened within six weeks of diagnosis to identify mood disturbance and cognitive impairment.
- All patients discharged from hospital who have residual stroke-related problems are followed up within 72 hours by specialist stroke rehabilitation services for assessment and ongoing management.
- Carers of patients with stroke are provided with a named point of contact for stroke information, written information about the patient's diagnosis and management plan, and sufficient practical training to enable them to provide care.
Around 4000 people have a stroke in Northern Ireland every year. We actively campaign to improve services for stroke survivors and their carers, and for better prevention, detection and treatment of stroke. We work with politicians of all parties to ensure stroke remains high on the political agenda, and we communicate the views of stroke survivors and their carers to policy makers, the health and social care service and the NI Executive.
In March 2019, the Department of Health launched a public consultation on reshaping stroke care across Northern Ireland. It outlines a number of options to reorganise how hospital stroke care is delivered in order to save lives and reduce disability from stroke. We support the reorganisation of acute stroke services and believe it is a golden opportunity to develop world class stroke services and improve the quality of life for stroke survivors and their families in Northern Ireland. We would encourage everyone to get involved in this important discussion and have their say on the future of stroke services in Northern Ireland.
However, it is vital that the process is about improving the whole stroke pathway, from prevention to long-term support. Our recent report, Struggling to Recover, highlighted a number of gaps in long-term support for those affected by stroke, including a lack of emotional and psychological support for survivors and their carers. We are pleased that the Department of Health have said that they will use the recommendations of our report as a blueprint for improvement in long-term support. We are working closely with the Department, local commissioners and Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke to ensure that plans to improve stroke care across the pathway are finalised, adequately resourced and implemented as soon as possible.
You can help to support this work and other campaign activity in Northern Ireland by signing up to our Campaigns Network. If you’d like to find out more, please contact our NI team on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 028 9050 8020
Stroke is the fourth most common cause of death in Scotland and the leading cause of disability.
- We work with stroke ambassadors and volunteers to help raise awareness of what a stroke is and what to do in the event of a stroke.
- We carry out blood pressure testing as part of our Know Your Blood Pressure campaign to help prevent strokes.
- We support people who have had a stroke through our stroke support services, Life After Stroke Grants and My Stroke Guide.
- We fund research into stroke prevention and Life After Stroke.
- We campaign for better stroke care and treatment.
- We have a fundraising team who work hard to ensure all money raised in Scotland stays in Scotland, to help us support those affected by stroke. We have lots of fun opportunities for you to get involved and raise money for us, or you can plan your own event and we’ll be there to help you make it a great success.
Cross-Party Group Inquiry into high blood pressure in Scotland
The Cross-Party Group (CPG) on Heart Disease and Stroke in the Scottish Parliament held an Inquiry into high blood pressure in Scotland. The Inquiry launched in May 2018 and gathered information from people with clinical or organisational interest and from people living with high blood pressure.
Cross-Party Group Inquiry into atrial fibrillation (AF)
Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of irregular heartbeat, yet most people have never heard of it. Those who have AF are five times more likely to have a stroke and AF often results in particularly severe strokes. There are around 96,000 people in Scotland diagnosed with AF, but an estimated 50,000 more people who have it have not been diagnosed.
The Scottish Parliament Cross-Party Group on Heart Disease and Stroke set up an Inquiry to better understand the key issues around detection, diagnosis and management of the condition. Clinicians and people affected by AF worked together to produce a report (published 23 January 2018) which includes ten clear recommendations for the Scottish Government.
We actively campaign to improve services for stroke survivors and their carers as well as for better prevention, detection and treatment of stroke. We work with politicians of all parties to ensure stroke remains high on the Welsh Government’s agenda. We communicate the views of stroke survivors and their carers to policymakers, the NHS and local government in Wales.
You can help to support our campaign activity in Wales by signing up to our Campaigns Network.
The Stroke Delivery Plan was published by the Welsh Government in February 2017. The plan aims to provide a framework for action on stroke for health boards and their partners and includes a range of actions to be taken to improve stroke prevention and treatment in Wales.
We will be monitoring progress on the Stroke Delivery Plan in Wales and working with the Welsh Government to ensure the vision it contains becomes a reality.
We provide the secretariat to the Cross Party Group on Stroke in the National Assembly for Wales.
The Group, chaired by Dr Dai Lloyd AM, provides expert information and evidence to Assembly Members of all political parties to support the delivery of first class stroke services in Wales.
We’ve produced a toolkit to help stroke survivors in Wales campaign on the issues which matter to them. The toolkit uses our experience from our previous Speak Out for Stroke project to give easy to follow advice on how to set-up and run a campaign.
The stroke Community Steps programme, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, also supports stroke survivors to campaign on a local level in their communities.
Rydym yn ymgyrchu’n weithgar i wella gwasanaethau i’r rhai sydd wedi goroesi strôc, a’u gofalwyr, yn ogystal â gwell ddulliau atal, adnabod a thrin strôc. Rydym yn gweithio gyda gwleidyddion pob plaid i sicrhau bod strôc yn parhau i fod yn uchel ar agenda Llywodraeth Cymru. Rydym yn cyfathrebu barn y rhai sydd wedi goroesi strôc, a’u gofalwyr, i wneuthurwyr polisi, y GIG a llywodraeth leol yng Nghymru.
Gallwch chi helpu i gefnogi ein gweithgaredd ymgyrchu yng Nghymru drwy gofrestru gyda’n Rhwydwaith Ymgyrchoedd.
Cyhoeddwyd y Cynllun Cyflawni Strôc gan Lywodraeth Cymru yn Chwefror 2017. Mae’r Cynllun yn anelu at ddarparu fframwaith gweithredu ar strôc ar gyfer byrddau iechyd a’u partneriaid ac mae’n cynnwys ystod o weithredoedd i wella dulliau o atal strôc a thriniaeth yng Nghymru.
Byddwn yn monitro datblygiad ar y Cynllun Cyflawni Strôc yng Nghymru ac yn gweithio gyda Llywodraeth Cymru i sicrhau bod y weledigaeth ynddo yn cael ei gwireddu.
Rydym yn darparu’r ysgrifenyddiaeth i’r Grŵp trawsbleidiol ar Strôc yng Nghynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru.
Mae’r Grŵp, a gaiff ei gadeirio gan Dr Dai Lloyd AC, yn darparu gwybodaeth arbenigol i Aelodau’r Cynulliad o bob plaid wleidyddol i gefnogi cyflwyno gwasanaethau strôc dosbarth cyntaf yng Nghymru.
Rydym wedi cynhyrchu pecyn cymorth ar gyfer goroeswyr strôc yng Nghymru i alluogi iddynt ymgyrchu dros faterion sy'n bwysig iddynt. Mae'r pecyn cymorth yn gwneud defnydd o'n profiad o brosiect Siarad Dros Strôc er mwyn cynnig cyngor sy'n hawdd i'w ddeall ar sut i gychwyn a rhedeg ymgyrch.
Mae prosiect Camau Cymunedol strôc, sydd wedi ei ariannu gan y Gronfa Loteri Fawr hefyd yn cefnogi goroeswyr strôc i ymgyrchu ar lefel leol yn eu cymunedau.