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Surge in stroke cases could cost UK £75bn by 2035, charity warns


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By 2035, there will be 151,000 hospital admissions due to stroke every year, averaging 414 admissions per day

In the next 10 years, the incidence of first-time stroke cases in the UK is projected to increase by 60 per cent, costing the government £75bn in healthcare and lost productivity, a charity has suggested.

A new manifesto published by the Stroke Association has urged the next UK government to make stroke “the priority”, stressing that the next decade is crucial for stroke prevention, treatment and recovery.

Currently, stroke is the UK’s fourth biggest killer and a leading cause of disability. On a daily basis, 281 individuals experience a stroke. Next year, the cost of stroke in the UK will be £43 billion.

The charity predicted that by 2035, there will be 151,000 hospital admissions due to stroke every year, averaging 414 admissions per day, with 42,000 people estimated to die every year.

In 2035, the UK is projected to have 2.1 million stroke survivors, imposing a financial burden of £75 billion on the public purse, nearly half the current NHS budget.

As 1 in 4 strokes happen to people of working age, it causes a loss in productivity of £1.6 billion per year. This figure is expected to increase 136 per cent by 2035. With an estimated 173,000 stroke survivors anticipated to be missing from the workforce, the economy will lose billions, the charity warned.

Juliet Bouverie, the chief executive of the Stroke Association said: “If the next government fails to tackle prevention, treatment, and recovery at the root, then stroke will become the most avoidable burden on the NHS.”

She emphasised the need for a substantial increase in the number of medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, speech therapists, and others focused exclusively on stroke, warning that failure to do so could result in many more deaths, increased disability, and a loss of independence among patients.

Stroke is preventable

According to Bouverie, a range of lifestyle factors including rising alcohol consumption and low exercise, alongside the aging population and inadequate preventive measures, will contribute to the anticipated increase in strokes over the next decade.

However, she stated that with the right investment, stroke is “preventable, treatable, and recoverable.”

In 2000, stroke was the second leading cause of death in the UK. By making stroke a national priority reflected in local resources, stroke mortality was halved by 2010. Change is possible,” Bouverie said.

“We have the knowledge and the treatments, but we do not yet have the political will to get this to patients.

“Any party wanting to transform health in our country should place stroke at the top of its priority list. The next government has the choice to stop stroke or let it spiral. We need to see the start of real change,” she added.

The Stroke Association is calling on Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to publish a funded stroke prevention plan to support people of all ages to reduce their risk of stroke.

The charity highlighted that early detection and management of risk factors can significantly reduce the cost of stroke on the NHS and wider society.

Furthermore, it asked the DHSC to ensure that the stroke treatment thrombectomy is universally available 24/7.

“Thrombectomy is a game-changing and cost-effective treatment to remove the blood clot in the brain which has caused the stroke, restoring blood flow. It can dramatically improve recovery poststroke and significantly reduces the chance of disabilities like paralysis, visual impairment and communication difficulties,” it said.

It also urged the UK government to address access to rehabilitation and prioritise equitable delivery of psychological and emotional support for stroke survivors across the UK.





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