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Stroke strategy launch

5th December 2007

A new 10-year stroke strategy has been unveiled for England.

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The government is promising the move will save thousands of lives by ensuring people get quicker access to care.

The plan calls for more awareness, faster diagnosis through brain scans and immediate access to drugs in a raft of measures that ministers feel can save 6,800 deaths and cases of disability and prevent 1,600 strokes.

Strokes are responsible for 50,000 deaths a year in the UK and it is the third biggest killer behind cancer and heart disease, but Britain still lags behind Europe in stroke care, despite increases in funding.

The stroke strategy includes immediate access to brain scans, and clot-busting treatment if necessary, for people who have had stroke; MRI scans to be available for people who have mini-strokes to assess risk of a full one in future; a £12m fund to run awareness raising campaigns; money set aside for training of doctors and nurses to staff specialist units.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said: “This is a bold vision for delivery of world-class stroke services, from prevention right through to life-long support.  There is no excuse for standing still.?

Chief executive of the Stroke Association Jon Barrick said: “This is a momentous opportunity to transform the outcomes and lives of stroke survivors.?

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley welcomed the strategy, but said the government has been too slow to act while Lib Dem health spokesman Norman Lamb said: “Ministers have to make sure that the good ideas are actually implemented.?

 

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