Charity warns survivors face years of misery unless action is taken
Stroke patients face years of misery unless immediate action is taken to improve access to support services, a charity has warned.
The Stroke Association in Scotland is calling on politicians to stem the “rising tide” of demand on services caused by the Covid-19 virus.
During the pandemic many stroke patients had treatments or rehabilitation sessions cancelled or delayed, leaving survivors with additional and avoidable physical and mental health problems. A recent survey for the charity found that 68% said they felt anxious or depressed during lockdown, while 70% were more worried about their health than before.
Six in ten respondents said they had received less help from health and care services during the lockdown and a third told the charity they felt “abandoned”.
Andrea Cail, director for Scotland of the Stroke Association, said: “Strokes didn’t stop happening because of the pandemic, but some treatments became unavailable, making lockdown even tougher for those living with the debilitating effects of stroke.
“Every year in Scotland around 10,000 people have a stroke. Stroke kills around 2500 of those people, leaving others with complex and severe disability. Recovery is tough, but with the right specialist support and a ton of courage and determination, the brain can adapt after stroke.
“This report uncovers a lack of access to treatment across the whole pathway from acute treatment through to rehabilitation and long term support. We are urging the Scottish Government to act now on the commitments outlined in their work plans. We want to see a new ‘progressive stroke service’ defined and implemented as soon as possible. To get the right treatment and care makes the difference between spending days in hospital or months; the right rehabilitation makes the difference between being independent or needing support for the rest of your life.”