Stroke campaign aims to halve Lancaster district deaths in two years

The Bay Health and Care team
The Bay Health and Care team

A new health campaign aiming to cut deaths from strokes by half over the next two years has been launched in the Lancaster area.

Bay Health and Care Partners (BHCP) is aiming to reduce the number of premature deaths from stroke by 50 per cent in the next two years following the launch of the Morecambe Bay Stroke Prevention Programme.

Despite high profile national campaigns aimed at raising people’s awareness of the key factors that cause strokes, Morecambe Bay has a higher stroke incidence than the national average.

The programme was officially launched by Professor David Walker, medical director at UHMBT, and Carnforth GP, Dr David Wrigley in December.

Prof Walker said: “Stroke is one of the major causes of death and disability in our population but much of the impact is preventable.

“The Bay-wide stroke prevention programme is an ambitious programme bringing together health services, local authorities, community and voluntary sector organisations and the public and communities in Morecambe Bay to reduce the impact of this disease.

“It is fantastic to see so many individuals and organisations committing to support this programme in so many different ways.”

Dr Wrigley added: “I am delighted to be involved in the launch of the Stroke Prevention Programme for the Morecambe Bay area. We have seen similarly ambitious campaigns have success in Bradford and Leicester.

“The launch event in Kendal was really well received and we are now looking for feedback and participation from key stakeholders in order to develop the plan further and move things forward. The next step will see us present the feedback to the board with the ultimate aim of reducing the 30 day risk of mortality from stroke.”

Morecambe Bay’s is at higher risk of stroke because the average age is higher than the national average, but, worryingly, a higher than national average of younger people are also suffering strokes.

There are several unique factors which place the Morecambe Bay population at a higher risk of stroke. The age of the Morecambe Bay population is higher than the national average; therefore more strokes will be recorded simply because more of the population is older. Nationally the 30 day risk of mortality from stroke is reducing, but this is not being demonstrated in the Bay area, plus a higher than national average number of young people are suffering strokes.