HEALTH AND CARE: Time to take Action on Stroke

A stroke occurs approximately 152,000 times a year in the UK
A stroke occurs approximately 152,000 times a year in the UK

This week marks the start of ‘Action on Stroke’ month across the country.

Strokes are a key priority for the local NHS and we are joining with NHS organisations across Sussex to raise awareness of stroke, how it can be prevented and to share more about the work we are doing locally.

Did you know a stroke occurs approximately 152,000 times a year in the UK?

That’s one stroke every three minutes and 27 seconds nationally – and 15 strokes a day in Coastal West Sussex.

80 per cent of strokes can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle – just like heart disease and diabetes.

What are we doing locally?

In 2015 we started a review of stroke services in our area.

Last summer we met with stroke survivors, their carers and our local communities to understand people’s experience of stroke services and their priorities for stroke care.

Listening to local people was so important and the feedback has been central to our work.

We received comments on hospital services, rehabilitation, how it feels to be the relative of someone who has had a stroke and how to prevent stroke happening.

In line with your feedback our review is taking forward three main areas of work:

n Prevention: The best prevention is living a healthy lifestyle – not smoking; and eating, drinking and exercising sensibly. We are working with GPs to make sure that this is backed up by early detection and management of risk factors for stroke – high blood pressure, diabetes and an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation.

n Hospital services: Our stroke teams at Worthing and St Richard’s are good at meeting national standards for hospital stroke care. But we need to do more work to ensure that the same care is available regardless of time of day or day of the week, that there are enough therapists, particularly speech therapists and that we are able to support patients in going home as soon as they are ready.

n Rehabilitation: The care received at home following a stroke is just as important as the care you receive in hospital. We know that we need to do more to help people recover as much function as possible at home and we are working with our community stroke teams to make changes.

We are looking not just at hospital care, but at the whole range of stroke services and support we give to local people.

We have set out how we would want this care to be – seamless and supportive – in an animation video.

Watch our vision for local stroke services on our website: {http://www.coastalwestsussexccg.nhs.uk/|www.coastalwestsussexccg.nhs.uk|click here}

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