New National Stroke Strategy Welcomed

By June Shannon Stroke News   |   1st Nov 2022

New National Stroke Strategy welcomed but more needs to be done to support survivors

(Caption: Launching the new National Stroke Strategy 2022-2027, are: Dr David Bradley, Consultant Neurologist, St James’s Hospital; Professor Clare Fallon, Consultant Geriatrician and GIM Physician, Regional Hospital Mullingar; Professor Mary Horgan, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland; Professor Rónán Collins, Clinical Lead, National Clinical Programme for Stroke; Sinéad Coleman, Programme Manager, National Clinical Programme for Stroke; Professor Riona Mulcahy, Consultant Physician in General and Geriatric Medicine, University Hospital Waterford; Professor Dominick McCabe, Consultant Neurologist and Clinical Professor in Neurology, Tallaght University Hospital.)

 

The Irish Heart Foundation has welcomed Ireland’s long-awaited National Stroke Strategy 2022-2027 which was published recently by the HSE National Clinical Programme for Stroke.

Welcoming its publication Mr Chris Macey, Director of Advocacy at the Irish Heart Foundation said that the full implementation of the new strategy would “save many lives, reduce the long-term disabling impact of stroke on many more survivors and will cut the long-term cost of stroke to the State, particularly by reducing the number of people requiring long-term care.”

“We have campaigned long and hard for its main provisions, such as tackling huge deficits in medical, nursing and therapy expertise in our stroke units; investing more in lifesaving thrombectomy services, and greatly expanding early supported discharge programmes that improve outcomes and save money by providing therapy in people’s homes instead of hospital,” Mr Macey stated.

However, Mr Macey added that more than what was included in the strategy needed to be done to meet the needs of “ tens of thousands of stroke survivors who feel abandoned at the hospital gates because of the chronic enduring deficits in vital community services that promote recovery and maximise quality of life.”

According to Mr Macey, “Rapid improvements in acute stroke services over the last decade mean that more stroke survivors than ever are surviving and returning home after stroke. But there has been no corresponding State investment in community rehabilitation, along with life-after-stroke services and supports that help rebuild lives and are often the difference between independence and lifelong reliance on institutional care for some.

“In effect, our health system is putting major expertise and resources into saving lives only to squander the recoveries of many stroke survivors by failing to deliver vital community services that should be an integral part of the care pathway,” he said.

" The full implementation of the new strategy will save many lives, reduce the long-term disabling impact of stroke on many more survivors "

Mr Chris Macey, Director of Advocacy, The Irish Heart Foundation

Stroke is the second leading cause of death in middle to higher income countries and the leading cause of acquired neurological disability in Ireland.

Approximately 5,800 adults were admitted to hospitals with a stroke in 2020. This figure does not include the estimated 1,500-2,000 people admitted or evaluated urgently for a suspected / threatened stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

Professor Rónán Collins, Clinical Lead for the HSE National Clinical Programme for Stroke said, “Stroke is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in our population and a major cost to our health service when outcomes are poor. Much improvement in services and outcomes has occurred since the inception of the National Clinical Programme for Stroke, but the nature of our changing demography, development of new stroke treatments and technologies, and the need for healthcare staff and public engagement on the issue of stroke are a significant challenge over the next decade.

The programme has prioritised an ambitious but realistic strategy to improve resourcing of stroke services and seeks commitment from government for a structured implementation, review and a ‘next steps for stroke’ strategy, to commence in 2026 with the aim of full realisation of the Stroke Action Plan for Europe by 2031.”

To meet the challenge of a predicted 59 per cent increase in the total number of strokes in Ireland four pillars of the new National Stroke Strategy were identified which focus on:

“Stroke is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in our population and a major cost to our health service when outcomes are poor."

Professor Rónán Collins, Clinical Lead for the HSE National Clinical Programme for Stroke

National Stroke Strategy Recommendations

Stroke Prevention includes:

Acute Care includes:

Rehabilitation includes:

Education and Research includes:

If you notice symptoms of a stroke it is important to get to an Emergency Department as soon as possible.

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