Stroke is a preventable disease. It is the fourth single leading cause of death in the UK, and the largest cause of complex disability.

Stroke rates have fallen by bout 40% and deaths of stroke patients who receive hospital care have halved over the last 20 years. But without further action, due to a growing and ageing population, the number of people having a stroke will increase by almost half, and the number of stroke survivors living with a disability will increase by a third by 2035.

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out our ambition to prevent more than 150,000 heart attacks, stroke and dementia cases over the next 10 years, by identifying those at highest risk and helping them to manage their conditions.

We will aim to:

  • Reduce the risk factors for stroke. This will include actions to improve the populations lifestyle choices (diet, physical activity, weight, alcohol)
  • Develop our acute stroke offer and networking across the BCWB STP moving towards an Intergrated Stroke Delivery network (ISDN)
  • Explore how best to configure our hyper-acute stroke care in the context of workforce challenges to ensure all units are well-equipped and staffed and able to meet seven day standards for stroke care
  • Develop acute stroke interventions including brain scanning, thrombolysis, mechanical thrombectomy and other future national developments
  • Further develop our stroke rehabilitation to ensure out-of-hospital, integrated, high inensity rehabilitiation for people in recovery from stroke.

The system will deliver the national stroke programme, developed jointly by NHS England and the Stroke Association, which will deliver better prevention, treatment and care for the people within BCWB who have a stroke. The ambitions of the programme, which meet the aims set out in the Long Term Plan, will:

  • Improve post-hospital stroke rehabilitation models for stroke survivors
  • Deliver a ten-fold increase in the proportion of patients who receive a thrombectomy after stroke so that each year 1,600 more people will be independent after their stroke
  • Train more hospital consultants to offer mechanical thrombectomy
  • Deliver clot-busting thrombolysis to twice as many patients, ensuring 20% of stroke patients receive it by 2025 – the best performance in Europe
  • Enhance the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) to identify further need and drive improvements
  • Ensure three times as many patients receiving 6 month reviews of their recovery and needs – from 29% today to 90%.

In The News

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    Heath bosses in the Black Country and West Birmingham are celebrating the role of carers as part of national Carers Week, especially because of the important contributions they have made during the coronavirus pandemic. This week (8-14 June 2020) is Carers Week – a national awareness initiative highlighting the important work being done by carers in the community – and local health leaders in the Black Country and West Birmingham are supporting this important campaign. Jonathan Fellows, Indepe...

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  • Health chiefs encourage people to visit pharmacies first

    As part of the national Help Us, Help You campaign, health bosses in the Black Country and West Birmingham are encouraging people to visit their pharmacy for advice on minor injuries and ailments. Research shows that 27 percent of general practice appointments in England could potentially be treated elsewhere. Approximately 18 million of these could be treated through self-care and community pharmacies. Many pharmacies are open late, making it easier than ever to get advice. They can advise yo...

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  • NHS rapid response team helps frail older patients

    Against a background of an ageing population and increasing frailty, one NHS Trust has identified opportunities to provide a service targeted at this patient group. The initiative is designed to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions through the emergency front door and keep frail older people safe in their own homes.  Emma Hibbs, Advanced Physiotherapist at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, explains: “We know that nationally around 50% of the population aged 65+ live with...

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  • Healthier Futures partnership secures funding to develop system-wide digital app

    The Healthier Futures partnership (Black Country & West Birmingham STP) has been awarded NHS funding following a successful pitch, to develop a healthcare app which will increase access to services for the local population. The NHS has identified funding to accelerate worthwhile projects across the country, inviting bids from all systems. A very limited number of organisations were invited to pitch to their respective regional digital teams and the Healthier Futures partnership has been su...

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  • It’s all aboard for popular NHS event

    The next stops for a popular NHS event have been confirmed in the Black Country. More than 200 people flocked to the big NHS red bus in Walsall City Centre to bag advice and freebies to help them keep well this Winter. NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups across the Black Country are behind the events, which aim to raise awareness of the simple steps people can take to keep well during winter. The importance of getting the flu vaccine, how keeping warm can help keep illnesses at bay and reminding...

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  • Check in on vulnerable people this Christmas

    People in the Black Country and West Birmingham are being advised to wrap up warm over the winter season and to look out for vulnerable people during the Christmas and New Year period. Local people are being asked to remember older relatives, friends and neighbours as well as other vulnerable people at this time of year. The over 65s and those with long-term health conditions or disabilities are at increased risk of illness during the winter months. It is important to regularly check in on ol...

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  • Black Country mental health employment service to expand support to local people

    A local service that helps people with severe mental illness to find employment, has successfully obtained additional funding from NHS England to expand its service in the Black Country. The NHS Five Year Forward View (2014) recognises that the employment rate of people with severe and enduring mental health problems is the lowest of all disability groups at just 7%. Furthermore, mental health problems now account for more than twice the number of Employment and Support Allowance and Incapacity...

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  • Dr Doreen Tipton says get the flu jab!

    Doreen Tipton joins health professionals to urge patients across the Black and West Birmingham to get their free flu jabs before the winter sets in. In a video launched by Futureproof Health, the Black Country comic icon Doreen Tipton, played by actress Gill Jordan reminds residents that it’s time for those at greatest risk from flu to protect themselves and their families with a free flu jab. Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch, and it can be a really serious illness fo...

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  • Service to cut A&E visits from “frequent callers” in the Black Country a Success

    Vulnerable patients are benefitting from a new frequent user project across the Black Country and West Birmingham. A one-year evaluation of the project commissioned by Dudley CCG and Dudley CVS has shown that in those patients who frequently attend A&E, there was a 33% reduction in attendances and a 41% reduction in inpatient admissions, saving the NHS more than £500,000. Delivered by the Dudley CVS Integrated Plus social prescribing team and match-funded by Dudley CCG and the Department o...

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  • Frailty assessment area relocated

    A hospital in Dudley has transformed the way it assesses frail elderly patients who arrive at its Emergency Department ensuring they receive optimal care from a dedicated frailty team providing comprehensive geriatric assessment. Russells Hall Hospital has moved its ward-based frailty assessment unit to the Emergency Department, in line with recommendation in the NHS Long Term Plan, enabling patients to get home sooner and maintaining their independence. Frail patients with complex health cond...

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