The diagnosis of stroke has been a major issue in the past year or so. We have all seen the adverts on TV telling us of the signs to look out for, now known as the FAST test. The idea is that even the slightest symptoms should be reported and not ignored. This then gives the best opportunity for treatment of the sufferers condition to try and keep and long term harm to a minimum.
Most people know about clot busting drugs and the fact that these should be given as soon as possible in certain types of stroke. On the face of it therefore it would be assumed that the treatment for stroke victims has improved.
However it seems that it is in the area of aftercare that stroke victims are being let down. A new report published today by the Stroke Association states that 38% of stroke survivors had received no assessment of their health and social care needs and that over 50% had only had one assessment in the three years since their stroke. Of those who had actually had an assessment, less than 40% had actually received a care plan based upon that assessment
Survivors report a lack of co-operation between different agencies and withdrawal of services even though the need for those services has not changed.
Whilst great work has been done in the detection and early treatment of stroke, this is futile if proper assessment and follow up is not carried out outside the hospital setting and often this is where our clients have been let down.
The report makes interesting reading and it is hoped it prompts the relevant agencies to focus more on rehabilitation to ensure patients get the after care they need, rather than relying on Solicitors to get them that help when it could be too late.
The full report can be found on the Stroke Association website www.stroke.org.uk