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'Radical changes' needed to cut annual £26 billion stroke bill

31 October 2017 08:56

There are over 1.2 million stroke survivors in Britain

There are over 1.2 million stroke survivors in Britain

The financial burden of strokes could reach as much as £75 billion a year by 2035, new figures from a charity suggest.

The Stroke Association is urging a new national plan to replace the Government's current stroke strategy, to reduce the rising bill which has increased three-fold since 2009.

An expanding and ageing population, rising care costs and growing numbers of survivors will see this bill continue to increase rapidly over the coming years, the report says.

The charity says a £60 million investment into stroke research could cut the bill by £10 billion overall.

A breakdown

According to the charity, there are over 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK.

Treatment, care, rehabilitation and lost productivity costs around £26 billion each year, according to the report 'Current, future and avoidable costs of stroke, Part 2'.

The cost of informal care and private treatment is £15.8 billion, accounting for the largest chunk of the bill.

Meanwhile, £5.2 billion is being spent on formal social care, and NHS outlays on stroke treatment come to £3.4 billion.

Employers fund the remaining £1.6 billion, through absenteeism and lost productivity.

Family burden

Juliet Bouverie, chief executive of the Stroke Association, says "radical changes" are needed to manage the condition.

The charity believes a new national strategy could help more stroke survivors live independently and return to work, as well as easing the emotional and financial burden put on loved ones.

Ms Bouverie said: "The majority of the vast financial burden caused by stroke is shouldered by thousands of families and carers, who give up everything, including their jobs, to look after loved ones whose lives are turned upside down in an instant by stroke.

"Stroke survivors without close family are left isolated, without the long-term support they desperately need."

The report is based on research at Queen Mary University of London and London School of Economics.

Stroke survivors can still enjoy holidays and overseas trips by taking out specialist travel insurance.