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Strokes: Health Services

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to improve the management of communication impairments in hospital stroke units; and if he will make a statement. (191820)

The new National Stroke Strategy, announced in December, will modernise services and deliver the best treatment for stroke across England. The strategy emphasises the need for prompt access to specialist acute stroke units, with a multidisciplinary team on hand to provide for all an individual's needs.

Rehabilitation after stroke is effective. The strategy highlights the need for high quality specialist rehabilitation, including speech and language therapy, available as soon as possible after a stroke, following discharge, and for as long as it is needed. This includes access to speech and language therapy.

We have fully costed the proposals in the strategy, and this will be reflected in the allocation that goes out to primary care trusts for next year. In addition, we have committed central funds totalling £105 million over the next three years. Some of that new funding will be used to train stroke specialist professionals, including allied health professionals. The £105 million is central funding—on top of money going into the national health service to support implementation of the strategy.