We believe that improving stroke services across the UK will save lives, reduce disabilities and ensure everyone affected by stroke gets timely access to the highest-quality treatment and care. But frustratingly, in Northern Ireland progress in reshaping stroke care has stalled.

In 2019, the Department of Health in Northern Ireland launched a public consultation on plans to reshape how its stroke services are delivered. It made a number of commitments to improve the stroke pathway, from establishing specialised hyperacute stroke units to improving rehabilitation and long-term support for stroke survivors.

Sadly, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, very little progress has been made since the consultation closed over two years ago. This is disappointing news for stroke survivors like Rosemary Valente, 61 from County Down.

'When I left hospital after my stroke, I was given a few leaflets but my brain couldn't process that information,' she says. 'I didn't know where to turn and I felt a bit abandoned until I got support from the Stroke Association.

'I'm frustrated at the lack of progress with reshaping stroke care in Northern Ireland. Stroke services including rehabilitation need to be urgently improved to help stroke survivors in Northern Ireland rebuild their lives.'

With Assembly elections coming up next year, Rosemary is working with us to call on the Northern Ireland Government to urgently resume its plans for reshaping stroke care and meet the commitments it made in 2019.

'We need these plans to move forward,' says Rosemary. 'Stroke doesn't wait for anyone.'

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Stroke News magazine

This article is featured in the winter 2021 edition of our magazine, Stroke News. Subscribe to our future editions available in print, on audio CD, or via email.

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