Clinical leaders urge Bradford patients to be stroke-aware

Local clinical commissioners in Bradford are inviting people to find out more about how to manage and reduce their risk of stroke, and also how to get support if they or a family member has had a stroke, at an awareness event on Friday 17 May.

Dr Sara Humphrey, clinical lead for stroke at Bradford Districts and Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG), and Dr Matt Fay are holding the event in partnership with the Stroke Association and Carers’ Resource at their GP surgery, Westcliffe Medical Practice in Shipley.

May is the Stroke Association’s annual Action on Stroke Month.

Heart disease, including stroke, is the leading cause of death and the second most significant cause of premature death in the Districts area, so a key focus of the CCG is tackling the high levels of heart disease and significantly reducing the number of people who have a stroke.

Dr Sara Humphrey said:
“A stroke can have a devastating effect on not only the patient but also their family and friends as they come to terms with the illness and start the often long road to recovery. For some people who have a family history of stroke there ways to manage their risk, while other people can really reduce their risk through simple lifestyle changes.

“Prevention is always better than cure and the awareness day is a chance for local people to find out more about stroke, know their risk and get expert health advice. They can also learn more about support available from the Stroke Association and Carers’ Resource for people who have had a stroke.”

At the free event – which runs from 9am to 1pm – people can have their blood pressure tested, have a heart disease assessment, including cholesterol and diabetes.

Linda Gregory, from the Stroke Association in Bradford and Airedale, added:
“A stroke is a brain attack which occurs because of a clot or a bleed in the brain, causing brain cells to die. Although it’s one of the UK’s biggest killers and leading causes of disability, far too many people don’t understand it or ever think it’ll happen to them.

“We’re looking forward to offering quick, free and painless blood pressure tests as high blood pressure is the single biggest risk factor for stroke, and over 40% of strokes could be prevented if it’s identified in time.”

To see what’s happening locally for Action on Stroke Month and receive a free action pack, visit the Stroke Association website or call the stroke helpline on 0303 3033 100.

Notes to editor

  • Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are the new NHS organisations responsible for buying healthcare services for their local populations. They have taken over most of the healthcare commissioning responsibilities of primary care trusts (PCTs), which were abolished on 31 March 2013.

  • There are three CCGs in the Bradford district: Bradford City CCG, Bradford Districts CCG and Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG.

  • Each CCG is a membership organisation, made up of its individual GP practices. Members have elected GPs to a clinical board which is responsible for leading the vision and strategy, and developing and overseeing the commissioning process. It also has a governing body which ensures the organisation carries out its duties in the right way.

  • Bradford City CCG is made up of 27 member GP practices that look after the health needs of over 118,000 people. The CCG’s chief officer is Helen Hirst and the chief clinical officer is Dr Akram Khan.

  • Bradford Districts CCG is made up of 41 member GP practices that look after the health needs of 328,000 people. The CCG’s chief officer is Helen Hirst and the chief clinical officer is Dr Andy Withers.

  • Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG is made up of 17 member practices that look after the health needs of 156,000 people. The CCG’s chief clinical officer is Dr Phil Pue and the clinical chair is Dr Colin Renwick.

  • CCGs are responsible for commissioning the following services: planned hospital care, mental health, community health, maternity, rehabilitation, urgent and emergency care and continuing healthcare.

  • The former local PCT’s public health services are now the responsibility of Bradford Council. The commissioning of primary care services – doctors, dentists, pharmacies and opticians – is now the responsibility of NHS England.