New measures combat stroke

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A NEW stroke support programme has launched to help provide more in-depth help for both Wigan survivors and their carers.

NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (WBCCG) has commissioned Ince-based third sector organisation Think Ahead to develop the pioneering programme as well as an online stroke support guide book.

Both aim to provide practical advice on money matters, mobility and independence, home safety and housing, practical local support available, getting back to work and lifestyle advice. Both also hope to cut Wigan Infirmary A&E admissions.

CCG chairman Dr Tim Dalton said: “NHS WBCCG wants to improve support to stroke survivors, their families and their carers, especially in the first few months following a stroke and then as long as patients need support.

“So we are working with some local GP practices who want to become part of a 12-month pilot that we hope will demonstrate that when patients are directed to a support service such as Think Ahead they will be in a stronger position to remain more independent, be able to better manage their condition and be less reliant on traditional health services.”

Recent figures show the number of middle-aged people suffering strokes has risen sharply in the last 15 years. The Stroke Association blames increasingly sedentary and unhealthy lifestyles.

CCG chief officer Trish Anderson said: “The Think Ahead programme involves practical, emotional support; gives advice and information to help both stroke survivors, their families and carers gain knowledge, confidence and independence to best manage this long-term health condition.

“Think Ahead have also developed a comprehensive stroke survivor support programme which addresses issues often faced in the first few months following a stroke and onwards as long as patients need support.

“Part of this programme is the new guide book which will be a practical way to help people who are facing new challenges following a stroke.”