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PCTs urged to help stroke victims

Primary care trusts have been urged to do more to assist stroke victims who have lost the ability to communicate.

Nine of 10 stroke survivors are left unsupported and isolated in the community, according to figures published by the Stroke Association.

The charity called on primary care trusts to ensure that stroke survivors are monitored every six weeks for the first six months and every year thereafter. It also urged them to study instances of stroke-related communication disabilities to understand the problem better.

The most common disability following a stroke - which occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut - is aphasia, which affects the ability to speak and understand language.

"With the right support, stroke survivors are able to have a good quality of life and play an active role in society," said Joe Korner, director of external affairs for the Stroke Association. "The benefits are not only a cost saving to our healthcare system - they are a basic human right for every individual."

"We all need to communicate. Whether it's through speaking, a hand gesture or the blink of an eye, the ability to interact with others is crucial," he added.

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The Stroke Association

Should PCTs do more to assist stroke victims? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"I strongly believe more could be done both in hospitals and within the home for CVA victims. My own mother's case was nil. Had it not been for her own three daughters she would not have been with us for the extra year. CVA patients have varying needs and requirements and the service input should be appropriate and tailored to the individual need." - V Henry, London