Response to Scottish Stroke Improvement Programme report 2021
John Watson, Director Scotland of the Stroke Association said:
“Two things leapt out to me in reading “The Scottish Stroke Improvement Programme annual report 2021 launched today.
“First of all I am struck by how well stroke care teams around Scotland have managed to maintain specialist care and treatment to patients, in the face of unprecedented challenges. Those teams deserve our thanks and respect.
“Of more concern was the reduction in the number of people coming into hospital with the signs of stroke. Although we are not fully sure why this is the case, it is presumed in this report that it has been due to a fear of hospital admission – likely due to hesitancy and fear of contracting COVID-19.
“This is a concern to us because stroke is a medical emergency and it’s essential to call 999 straight away if you suspect you or someone around you is having a stroke.
We continue to urge the public to use the world-famous stroke acronym, “FAST”, to familiarise themselves with the signs and symptoms of a stroke: Face, Arms, Speech and Time (to call an ambulance) – Act FAST.
“FAST remains an important message that both we and others continue to promote.
“The Scottish Government recognised pre-pandemic that stroke needed significant improvement and made welcome commitments towards that. We are pleased to see increasing awareness of the signs of a stroke is included, alongside commitments relating to improved hospital care. We look forward to seeing further progress on those commitments in the coming months.”