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Health bosses urge public to 'Act FAST' on stroke symptoms

Health bosses across Herefordshire and Worcestershire urge the public to ‘Act FAST’ if they or a loved one has stroke symptoms.

Health bosses across Herefordshire and Worcestershire are supporting the next part of the NHS Help Us Help You campaign advising the public not to put off seeking help because of coronavirus.

NHS staff have worked hard to ensure anyone who needs stroke care can safely get it despite the biggest public health emergency in over a century.

As part of the Help Us Help You campaign, the public are being asked to continue to act F.A.S.T. and dial 999 when stroke strikes.

Plans are also set out to ensure people can continue to get care even if local ambulance and hospital teams are put under much more severe pressure than has been the case.

Dr Carl Ellson, NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG Medical Director said: "Everyone should know that the NHS is still open for business and it is vitally important that if people have serious conditions or concerns they seek help.

“Whilst the amazing efforts to provide safe treatment to patients during the coronavirus pandemic have been incredible, stroke has still been a priority. At all times the NHS has been able to provide care for everyone who has urgently needed it, but it’s a real concern that the number of people coming forward for stroke care at the right time has gone down.

“So, if you or a loved one experience stroke symptoms, please help us help you, act FAST, and call 999. Our expert paramedics, stroke nurses, radiologists and doctors will ensure you get the care you need as quickly as possible.”

The F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) acronym is a simple test to help people identify the most common signs of a stroke, and emphasises the importance of acting quickly by calling 999:

  • Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
  • Speech – is their speech slurred?
  • Time to call 999

Information that was held previously by NHS Herefordshire CCG, NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG, NHS South Worcestershire CCG and NHS Wyre Forest CCG was transferred to NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG on 1 April 2020.

The new CCG is the the new data controller. Any questions about the use of data (including patient data) by the new CCG should be directed to mlcsu.ig@nhs.net.