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People who have suffered a stroke are receiving significantly improved care from the NHS, according to a new and independent report.

The fourth annual report to be commissioned by NHS England states that patients are now getting much quicker access to the vital tests and treatment they need when they have a stroke, greatly improving their chances of recovery.

In particular, significant quality improvements have been made on waiting times and specialist care. Improvements highlighted in the report since the first report four years ago include:

  • Brain scanning times have improved, with more than 9 out of 10 patients (93.5%) scanned within 12 hours, up from 84.6%.
  • Four out of five patients are assessed by a stroke specialised consultant physician within 24 hours.
  • Almost nine out of 10 of eligible patients are receiving a clot-busting drug thrombolysis, up from around seven in 10 two years ago. The numbers treated within one hour have risen from 53.2% to 62.3%.
  • Nine out of 10 patients received a joint health and social care plan on discharge in 2016/17, compared to only seven out of 10 in 2013/14.

Stroke is a devastating disease for patients and their families, and is estimated to cost the NHS around £3bn per year, with additional cost to the economy of £4bn in lost productivity, disability and informal care. Rapid assessment and treatment is known to save lives and greatly improve chances of recovery.

Professor Tony Rudd, National Clinical Director for Stroke at NHS England, said: “Stroke can be devastating for patients and their loved ones and so it is fantastic to see the excellent progress which has been made over the last four years. Real improvements have been made, not just in identifying and managing those with key stroke risk factors, but in waiting times for tests and new revolutionary treatments being provided.

“We are not complacent about stroke care – it remains the fourth biggest killer in England and we recognise that there is a great deal more still to do. The data published today provides us with a very high standard which we can continue to improve from to make stroke care even better for patients.”

The number of stroke survivors in the UK is set to rise to over two million people and the NHS in England is working closely with the Stroke Association and other key organisations to develop a very clear plan to continue to improve stroke services across the country.

One of the biggest obstacles to returning to independent living following a stroke can be the stairs in your home. A stroke can leave you with weakness and loss of control in one or more limbs. This not only makes using the stairs difficult, but also dangerous.

While exercising to regain muscle strength and co-ordination is a key part of stroke recovery, the stairs are not the place to do it. Falling on the stairs could have catastrophic consequences and exercise should always be done in a safe environment.

Installing an Acorn stairlift can instantly remove the obstacle of stairs in your home, allowing you to regain your independence and continue enjoying all of the home you love, instead of being restricted to a single storey. Acorn also has industry-leading response times, meaning we can have one of our British-made stairlifts installed and running in your home just a few days after an initial inquiry, even on more complex curved staircases. If urgency is paramount, we can even install next day.

To find out more and have all your questions answered, call one of our friendly stairlift advisors today on 0800 073 9775.

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