It is estimated that there are currently 1,150 strokes and 540 Transient Ischaemic Attacks (TIAs or mini-strokes) per year in Sheffield. An average of 505 deaths per year was recorded between 2004 and 2006. Incidence of stroke is higher amongst African/ Caribbean populations and Bangladeshi/Pakistani women. It is also significantly higher for men of South Asian origin.
There are currently just over 9,240 people living with stroke in Sheffield. This is expected to increase in the coming years for all age groups.
NHS Sheffield aims to prevent strokes through improved diagnosis and treatment of hypertension to control blood pressure and through better handling of TIA referral, assessment and treatment. This is linked to more effective management of cardio vascular disease risk including smoking, lipid levels, exercise, blood pressure, diabetes and atrial fibrillation.
Sheffield hypertension guidelines have been developed and we have carried out a health equity audit of general practice referral to the rapid access stroke clinic. We have met the Older People’s National Service Framework standard 5: “to reduce the incidence of stroke in the population and ensure that those who have had a stroke have prompt access to integrated stroke services”.
By 2010, we will be expected to have reduced the proportion of people who die after having a stroke and to ensure that 90% of patients who are thought to have had a stroke are referred to have their diagnosis confirmed within 48 hours.
Only 76% of patients with stroke were admitted to a stroke unit at some point during their stay. Acute, short term care in Sheffield for stroke patients is good, but longer term support still requires development. The National Stroke Strategy has signalled a major challenge to the nature, capacity and timeliness of stroke services in England.