Face the facts: Stroke is treatable
Stroke is the fourth largest killer in the UK, and one of the largest causes of disability – but it is also treatable.
World Stroke Day on 29th October is highlighting the fact that lives can improve with better awareness, access and action with the theme ‘Face the facts: Stroke is treatable’.
There are more than 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK and around 152,000 people have a stroke each year. Time is brain – the chances of surviving and recovering from a stroke are increased by having rapid access to high quality specialist services.
Here in Greater Manchester, more than 6,000 people have had a stroke in the last 12 months – and they have experienced the benefit of health experts working together on a major programme to transform stroke care. Changes in 2010 made clot-busting treatment available to everyone in Greater Manchester, with further changes in 2015 concentrating hyperacute stroke services at three specialist stroke units – ensuring all patients have access to urgent assessments and brain scanning that help save lives. These are at Salford Royal, Fairfield and Stepping Hill.
You can download a summary of our recent review of these changes here or an aphasia friendly format.
As a result, more local people than ever have accessed specialist stroke services and stroke care has improved enormously. Stroke care in Greater Manchester is now generally better than the rest of England, with local patients also spending less time in hospital after their stroke.
Angela Arrowsmith lives in Horwich and had a stroke last year. She fell ill in her loft and had to be rescued by the High Access Rescue Team before being brought by ambulance to the specialist centre at Salford Royal, bypassing her local hospital in Bolton. Thankfully, Angela is recovering well although she has been left with some physical difficulties, including her speech.
Her husband David said of the care they received at Salford Royal: “It was really good, first class, no problems, they were always with her, nothing was too much trouble.”
The network is helping to support improvements in care and works with stroke survivors and carers, NHS providers and commissioners of stroke services, as well as the voluntary sector to make sure local care continues to improve to be the best in the country.
We will be celebrating World Stroke Day in our region with a number of events:
Network Clinical Lead Dr Jane Molloy said: “The aim of World Stroke Day is to raise awareness of stroke and the importance of people recognising the symptoms and understanding how they can prevent a stroke from happening. Stroke can be devastating and leave people with lasting difficulties but if we can treat patients quickly and in specialist centres, we can reduce its impact.”