On Monday, I visited Walton Stroke Group, having been invited by their Vice Chairman, Max Jefford. Walton Stroke Group is a great local group which provides support and advice for those recovering from strokes and their carers. The group meets each week at Walton Day Centre, and they are hosted by centre manager Denise Viney.
The government is doing a range of things to help the diagnosis and treatment of strokes, including improved access to immediate brain scanning. Now, 46% of patients are being scanned within one hour of hospital arrival and 90% are scanned within 12 hours – one part of the National Stroke Strategy. The new NHS ‘Health Check’ programme is helping to identify those at risk of strokes, too. Since 2009, adults aged 40-74 are now invited for a sophisticated check of their heart health every 5 years. It is estimated that over the first 5 years, 2,500 stroke cases have been avoided due to preventative treatment.
At my visit there was a great turnout of members, and we had a lively question and answers session. The group asked me questions on social care, junior doctors, immigration, international aid – and, of course, the EU! They are a fantastic group. I really enjoyed meeting all of the members and volunteers, and look forward to returning for another grilling soon.