Debbie Abrahams – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Debbie Abrahams on 2016-04-08.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the quality and geographical variability of speech and language therapy available to stroke survivors in England.

Jane Ellison

One of the actions set out in the 2007 National Stroke Strategy was to increase the rate of thrombolysis (treatment with clot busting drugs), which stood at around 1% of stroke admissions. Data from the Stroke Sentinel Audit Programme (SSNAP) suggests this rate has risen to 11-12%, with around 9,600 stroke patients now benefiting from treatment with thrombolysis each year. Evidence suggests that, on average, 13% of those treated with thrombolysis will have reduced disability as a result. It is therefore likely that more than 1,200 stroke patients per year now benefit from reduced disability due to thrombolysis.

Although the Government has made no assessment of the quality and variation of rehabilitation and speech and language therapy available to stroke survivors in England, SSNAP has collected data over the last three years on the rehabilitation that patients get in hospital and when they are discharged in to the community.

SSNAP also undertook an audit in 2015 of the provision and organisation of post-acute stroke care which includes details on the provision of speech and language therapy. It shows there are variations around the country in the availability of these services to stroke survivors. The Strategic Clinical Networks and the National Clinical Director for Stroke are working with clinical commissioning groups to help address this.