Sign our Open Letter to the government

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on all of us. The recoveries of stroke survivors have been particularly badly affected.

The pandemic has meant 4 in 10 people who have had a stroke this year feel they aren't receiving the help and support needed to rebuild their life after stroke.

In addition, people are worrying more about what the future holds. 7 in 10 stroke survivors report feeling more anxious recently.

And it isn't just stroke survivors themselves. Over half of people who are caring for stroke survivors say they feel overwhelmed.

This is why we need you to sign our Open Letter, calling on governments and local decision makers across the UK to urgently act on the recommendations in the Recoveries at Risk report.

Read our Covid-19 Open Letters to decision makers across the UK

(Jump to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland letters)

For signatories in England:

"We, the undersigned, urge you to read the Stroke Association's Stroke Recoveries at Risk report, and act upon the relevant recommendations within it. The report is based upon the responses of almost 2000 people affected by stroke, making it the largest survey of the stroke community since Covid-19 took hold. The report makes the following recommendations:

  1. All UK governments should urgently progress - or commit to - national stroke initiatives, and deliver commitments made prior to the pandemic.
  2. All stroke rehabilitation should meet or exceed national clinical guideline levels, to mitigate the disruption to recoveries caused by the pandemic. 
  3. Stroke teams should follow up with all stroke survivors who had a stroke this year to review and address their recovery needs.
  4. Health and care systems should evaluate all changes to the stroke pathway in response to Covid-19, involving stroke survivors and professionals.
  5. Health and care systems should urgently increase the provision of, and access to, mental health services for stroke survivors.
  6. Governments and local authorities should provide adequate support to carers.
  7. Stroke research should be prioritised when research is restarted. 
  8. All UK governments should commit to continued investment in Act FAST public health messaging.

In addition, there are some further associated requests for England contained within this letter.

Rebuilding a life is impossible without hope. You can help people find hope. World Stroke Day is on October 29th, which feels like a timely moment to commit to action on these recommendations."

For signatories in Scotland:

"We, the undersigned, urge you to read the Stroke Association's Stroke Recoveries at Risk report, and act upon the recommendations. The report is based on the responses of almost 2000 people affected by stroke across the UK, 169 of whom are Scots. This makes it the largest survey of the stroke community since Covid-19 took hold.

In addition to the UK-wide recommendations, the report has two clear, recommendations for Scotland:

  1. The Scottish Government makes urgent progress on its 2019/20 and 2020/21 Programme for Government stroke commitments.
  2. Establish a regular reporting mechanism for those commitments to Parliament, to track progress and ensure transparency and accountability.   

All Scots should have timely access to evidence-based treatment and support across the entire stroke pathway."

For signatories in Wales:

"We, the undersigned, urge you to read the Stroke Association's Stroke Recoveries at Risk report, and act upon the relevant recommendations within - in particular backing the Stroke Association’s call for a new national plan for stroke in Wales.

The report is based on the responses of almost 2000 people affected by stroke, including 130 in Wales, making it the largest sample of the stroke community since Covid-19 took hold.

The survey also comes at a pivotal time for stroke services in Wales. The current Stroke Delivery Plan expires in 2021. The key recommendation from the report is that the Welsh Government should commit to replacing the Plan with a new national plan for stroke, which addresses not only the challenges created by the pandemic, but also the need to improve services for all those affected by stroke throughout Wales.

The new plan should prioritise developing hyperacute stroke units, setting standards for rehabilitation and improving access to preventative services.

Additional recommendations from the report include:

  • As an immediate priority, all stroke rehabilitation (face-to-face where safe) should meet national clinical guideline levels, to address the individual needs of stroke survivors and maximise their potential for recovery.
  • Stroke teams should follow up with all stroke survivors who had a stroke this year to review and address their recovery needs.
  • Welsh Government, health boards and local authorities should prioritise increasing the provision of, and access to, mental health services.
  • Local authorities must provide adequate support to carers.
  • The Welsh Government should commit to investing in Act FAST public health messaging.

World Stroke Day is on October 29th, which feels like a timely moment to commit to action on these recommendations."

For signatories in Northern Ireland:

"We, the undersigned, urge you to read the Stroke Association's Stroke Recoveries at Risk report, and act upon the relevant recommendations within it. The report is based upon the responses of almost 2000 people affected by stroke, including 104 people from Northern Ireland, making it the largest survey of the stroke community since Covid-19 took hold.

It’s clear that the pandemic and lockdown has had a profound effect on people’s lives and recoveries from stroke. Now is the time for the stroke community of Northern Ireland to work together to progress with stroke reform commitments that were made prior to the pandemic. We call on the Department of Health and the Northern Ireland Executive to urgently:

  • Roll-out a new, regional long-term support pathway, which is appropriately funded to meet the needs of people affected by stroke.
  • Progress with the planned reform of stroke services to create a sustainable and high-quality service for everyone affected by stroke in Northern Ireland.

Change is long overdue and we must do better to improve outcomes for stroke survivors and their families, both now and in the future. Staying as we are is not an option and a lack of progress puts lives and recoveries at risk. 

We believe that World Stroke Day on October 29th 2020 is a timely moment for the Department of Health and the Northern Ireland Executive to commit to action on these recommendations."

 
Front cover of "Stroke Recoveries at Risk" report

The care I received while in hospital has been fantastic! Sadly, in the outside world, it’s nothing but Covid-19, all else has been ignored.

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