Sheffield Teaching Hospitals diagnose over 900 strokes each year, according to new data compiled by a national home care provider.
Cera Care shared the information as part of a campaign to highlight the issue of stroke rates continuing to rise across the UK on World Stroke Day recently. The data, provided by 65 NHS Trusts from across the UK shows nearly 50,000 people in their authority suffered a stroke between August 2016 and the end of July this year. Nationally this means that over 100,000 people a year are suffering from a stroke. And according to the figures, provided by the NHS Trusts, the number of deaths following a stroke in the same period remained consistent at 12 per cent, meaning that more patients now require care for the after effects of strokes, which could cause further strain in the social care sector.
Strokes are estimated to cost the NHS £3 billion every year and impacts the economy to the tune of £4 billion every year in lost productivity, disability and informal care.
Often overlooked though, is the impact that strokes can have on the social and personal lives of those suffering with a stroke and their families. It is this aspect of stroke survival that Cera hopes to draw attention to, with its latest campaign, because of the experiences of its own care staff.
In a survey of their own carers, Cera found that the percentage of people in their care that have survived a stroke is high, with an average of 50 per cent of their clients having suffered a stroke. One carer estimated that 80 per cent of the patients they cared for over a nine-year career in care had suffered from a stroke in some form.
According to the carers, whilst the most common care needs encompass personal care such as help with eating, personal hygiene, communication and getting dressed for the day, they were unanimous in their agreement that family and social contact have a key role to play in maintaining quality of life. 60 per cent agreed that it was a very important aspect of care for someone suffering from a stroke.
Many of them also stressed the need for families of stroke sufferers to pay attention to their well being and mental state. Several respondents reported that family members can feel shocked and become withdrawn just as their family member needs them the most.
Sarah McEwan from Cera said: “The impact on an individual’s life after a stroke is something that our carers see day in day out. They know first-hand the devastating effect it can have on the individual themselves, but also their family, friends and loved ones – often leaving those close to them feeling exhausted, anxious and distressed.
“We have seen the need for care increase which is why we wanted to understand the full picture across the UK by speaking directly to the NHS Trusts to access their data. Through this data, we hope to highlight the ongoing issue and how this is affecting thousands of families every year across the UK.”
NHS England confirmed in 2017, the improved measures that are set to be put in place to benefit
patients that have suffered a stroke. Public Health England’s FAST campaign has helped raise awareness of stroke symptoms and what to do if someone is exhibiting those symptoms. The campaign has been successful, seeing a 24 per cent increase in calls to the emergency number 999 reporting stroke symptoms.
However, stroke sufferers still face barriers to social integration and in some cases accessing support that they’re entitled to.