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Extra funding for stroke patients

The government has revealed plans for a massive cash injection to improve community-based service for people living with the after-effects of a stroke
The government has revealed plans for a massive cash injection to improve community-based service for people living with the after-effects of a stroke.

Over the next three years, the Department of Health will distribute £77m across the country to improve services for stroke patients. Many people who are discharged from hospital after being treated for a stroke can face isolation and poor access to continued support, and experience a diminished quality of life.

Around 900,000 people in England have suffered a stroke and live with the consequences, which can often take the form of severe disability and paralyses. The government funding will help improve the long-term support available for 300,000 patients with moderate to severe effects of a stroke.

"All too often stroke survivors tell us that their transition from hospital back into the community was daunting and disorganised with poor links between health and social services," said Jon Barrick, chief executive of the Stroke Association. "We hope to see a vital increase in specialist and voluntary sector stroke expertise in the community."

Health minister, Ann Keen, described how patients are confronted with the scale of the problem when they leave hospital and often feel abandoned.

"Extra investment is so important. We know that long-term support needs to be better coordinated and local authorities have a critical role to play alongside the NHS and the voluntary sector in improving services," she said.

Every local authority in England will receive a £100,000 ring-fenced grant per year to fund the provision of a stroke care coordinator, counselling and support services and vocational rehabilitation. In addition, each strategic health authority will be given £2.4m over the next three years to improve acute services.

The current cost of stroke on the NHS is £2.8bn and each year more than 110,000 in England experience an attack of this nature.

7th May 2008

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