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A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. The damage this causes can affect the way our body works, as well as how you think, feel and communicate. A preventable disease, it is the 4th single leading cause of death in the UK and the single largest cause of complex disability. 

The 2017 Commonwealth Fund healthcare outcomes ranking placed the UK 10th out of 11 due to poor cardiovascular (CVD) scores on stroke mortality amenable to healthcare. Without action, the number of people having a stroke will increase by almost half, and the number of stroke survivors living with a disability will increase by a third by 2035.

Thrombolysis rates are currently only 11% and could benefit up to 20% of stoke patients. On average, one patient thrombolysed would save the NHS £47,000 over 5 years. Mechanical thrombectomy increases the proportion of people who could function independently at 90 days following stroke by between 19-35%. Current thrombectomy rates are 1%, when up to 10% could benefit.

Lack of access to post-acute rehabilitation is where the least progress has been made over the last 10 years. Less than a third of stroke survivors receive a review of their progress and unmet needs at six months post stroke. A whole system workforce approach is needed to address the skills and capability for stroke prevention and detection; hyper-acute stroke services; specialist assessment and rehabilitation; and life after stroke.

Working with partners our aim is to:

(1) Support the creation of optimal stroke pathways by:

  • working with established Integrated Stroke Delivery Networks (ISDNs)
  • thrombectomy credentialing.

(2) Improving stroke rehabilitation by:

  • adopting and updating Stroke-Specific Education Framework (SSEF)
  • workforce modelling by working with the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP), ‘Getting it right first time’ (GIRFT) and HEE Star teams.

Find out more about our Population health and prevention programme.