World stroke day is held on 29 October each year. This year’s campaign focuses on saving precious time, referring to the need to act FAST in the aftermath of a stroke, as well as how that action can improve the quality of life for stroke survivors.

Stroke is the largest cause of disability in the UK and the fourth biggest killer. In West Yorkshire and Harrogate, around 3000 people a year have a stroke with two thirds of stroke survivors left with some form of physical, mental or emotional disability – often completely life changing.

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership has a group of patients, families and carers affected by stroke that share their experiences and help to shape the future of stroke services and this is part of the Integrated Stroke Delivery Network (ISDN) remit of work. The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Integrated Stroke Delivery Network has been established, to enable services to work more closely together and share best practice, with the aim of delivering the best care possible for the people of West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

Patient representatives ensure the views of people with lived experience of stroke are included in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of the ISDN’s work. If you have been affected by stroke and would like to get join you can visit the website and find out more

On world stroke day the message from the members of the ISDN is to urge people not to ignore signs and symptoms that could be potentially life changing and life threatening.  With thanks to three of our stroke assurance group patient representatives that kindly answered some Q&As. They share with us their experiences and messages on world stroke day.

Click on the link to read the full Q&A document.

My speech was slurred and I couldn't pronounce my words propley.jpgQ. Richard, can you tell us briefly about your experience of having a stroke?

A: My stroke happened at 7.30am on the morning of 4th December 2017. I felt odd. I was having a Stroke. It was a left-handed stroke which meant I had my right-hand side movement curtailed. I had a numb feeling on that side and my vision had become warped - much like that of looking through binoculars the wrong way. My speech was slurred, and I could not pronounce the words properly. My wife recognised immediately that I had a stroke. Read more by clicking here.

I thought stroke was an older person's illness.jpgQ. Gary, can you tell us briefly about your experience of having a stroke?

A: In 1994 at the age of 31 I was struck down by stroke. At the time I had a successful career, a young family and had always been reasonably physically fit and participated in various sports, yet here I was impacted by 'an older person’s illness' It was a long battle to regain a degree of health and one that ultimately cost me. Read more by clicking here.

Don't delay if signs or symptoms.jpgQ. Nathan, can you tell us briefly about your experience of having a stroke?

A: It’s been a real journey! From the initial shock of a healthy 36-year-old, being admitted to hospital and in those early weeks and months the worry of how much function I might be able to regain. Trying to engage in physio sessions when neuro-fatigue was telling me to just sleep!! That said I’m in a really happy place now coming up to six years post stroke. I know what I’m capable of and accept help when required to do the tasks I can’t for myself. Read more by clicking.

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Integrated Stroke Delivery Network

we have to impact change from within.jpgRead more about the work of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Integrated Stroke Delivery Network  by clicking here. You can also read the latest news here

The Integrated Stroke Delivery Network are looking to recruit more patient and carer representatives, who have experience of living with or caring for someone affected by stroke, to form a stroke patient and carer assurance group. 

Find out more and apply to become a West Yorkshire and Harrogate Integrated Stroke Delivery Network Patient and Carer Assurance Group Representative