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Strokes: Speech Impaired

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what (a) funding and (b) advice is being made available to Wakefield council for the commissioning of communication disability support groups for those who have had strokes; (213111)

(2) how many people were diagnosed with a stroke-related communication disability in (a) Wakefield district primary care trust area, (b) West Yorkshire strategic health authority area and (c) Hemsworth constituency in each of the last five years.

The new National Stroke Strategy, published in December 2007 (copies of which are available in the Library), sets out 20 quality markers for the provision of high quality treatment and care for adult stroke survivors. Of those quality markers, seven link directly to the kind of support and services which those who have had a stroke and their carers need in the community. These include support with communication disabilities and other high quality rehabilitation, information, advice, practical and peer support throughout the care pathway, in line with individual need.

In addition to the funding that has gone to primary care trusts, £105 million of central funding over three years will support implementation. This includes £45 million to local authorities (LAs), including Wakefield metropolitan district council, to help them develop or accelerate their existing provision of long-term support to those who live with the effects of a stroke. The strategy recognises that some people who have had a stroke, including those with aphasia and other communication difficulties, will have specific support needs. We expect that LAs will use some the new funding we have made available to meet these needs in line with local needs and priorities.

Information on the number of people diagnosed with a stroke-related communication disability is not collected centrally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of communication support services for those who have had strokes. (213112)

The Department, with stakeholders from across the stroke community, including academics, clinicians, the voluntary sector and stroke survivors and their carers, looked at the available evidence in relation to support services when preparing the new “National Stroke Strategy” (copies are available in the Library). The Strategy was published in December 2007 and makes recommendations to the national health service about the most effective way to support those who have had a stroke.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what communication support services are available for those who have had strokes; and if he will make a statement. (213113)

This information is not held centrally. However, the new “National Stroke Strategy” (copies of which are available in the Library) recognises that people who have had a stroke, including those with aphasia and other communication difficulties, will have specific support needs. The services which primary care trusts (PCTs) and local authorities (LAs) provide for those people will depend on local needs and priorities. The Strategy also makes clear that those with aphasia and related conditions should be involved in the planning of the support services they require.

In addition to the funding that has gone to PCTs, central funding over three years will support implementation of the new national Strategy, including £45 million to local authorities to help them develop or accelerate their existing provision of long-term support to those who live with the effects of a stroke. We expect that PCTs and LAs will use the funding available to meet these needs in line with local needs and priorities.