Graphic showing: Carers in Northern Ireland appear to be particularly impacted with a staggering 93% saying they are providing more care and support during lockdown, far higher than the UK average of 77%

The Stroke Association's Stroke recoveries at risk report is based upon the responses of almost 2000 people affected by stroke, including 104 people from Northern Ireland, making it the largest survey of the stroke community since COVID-19 took hold.

It's clear that the pandemic and lockdown has had a profound effect on people's lives and recoveries from stroke. Now is the time for the stroke community of Northern Ireland to work together to progress with stroke reform commitments that were made prior to the pandemic. We call on the Department of Health and the Northern Ireland Executive to urgently:

  • Roll-out a new, regional long-term support pathway, which is appropriately funded to meet the needs of people affected by stroke.

  • Progress with the planned reform of stroke services to create a sustainable and high-quality service for everyone affected by stroke in Northern Ireland.

Change is long overdue and we must do better to improve outcomes for stroke survivors and their families, both now and in the future. Staying as we are is not an option and a lack of progress puts lives and recoveries at risk.

To discuss the report findings further, please contact Cathy Brolly, Public Affairs Officer (Northern Ireland).

Willie's story

Willie is 47 and lives in Portadown. Willie was a busy music teacher, performing musician and family man when he had a stroke late one night in October 2017. He spent two months in hospital receiving physiotherapy and occupational therapy and has paid for additional private therapy to help with his recovery. But everything changed for Willie during the pandemic. Read Willie's story