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Juliet Bouverie, Chief Executive of the Stroke Association today (Friday 17 January) appeared on the BBC2’s Victoria Derbyshire show with Dr Jonathan Birns, Consultant in stroke medicine, geriatrics and general medicine, to talk about the shortages within the stroke consultant workforce, from the recent Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme’s (SSNAP)(i) Acute Organisational Audit Report.

According to these latest figures, nearly half (48%) of all hospitals have had at least one stroke consultant post unfilled (up from 40% in 2016(ii)) for their stroke units for at least 12 months.

Juliet said: “These latest findings show a growing shortage of stroke consultants in the UK. With these gaping holes in staffing levels of experienced stroke professionals, people’s recoveries from stroke are being jeopardised.

“This report makes some welcome recommendations to address the challenges. Government; NHS England and its arm’s length bodies and health and social care authorities across the UK must act now to ensure that stroke survivors get the world-class treatment and care they deserve.

“We support the recommendations made last year by the British Association of Stroke Physicians(iii) around how to meet the big challenges the stroke workforce faces. At the Stroke Association, we will also play our part by providing high quality emotional, practical and social support services to help people to rebuild their lives after stroke.”

You can watch Juliet and Dr Birn’s interview in full on BBC iPlayer.

Read our policy position on the stroke workforce and more about the NHS England Long Term Plan and the National Stroke Programme.

The Stroke Association campaigns to make sure people affected by stroke get the very best care and support to rebuild their lives. This work is funded by voluntary donations, please support us and make a donation today.


(i) SSNAP is produced by researchers at King’s College London and is overseen by the Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party. SSNAP is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Programme and is funded by NHS England and the Welsh Government. (ii) SSNAP AOA (2016): (iii) BASP Workforce Challenges report (July 2019):