On 1 February 2018, Public Health England, working closely with the Stroke Association, will relaunch the national ‘Act F.A.S.T.’ stroke campaign. NHS Greater Huddersfield and NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are supporting the campaign locally.
The campaign raises awareness of the signs of stroke and reinforces the importance of acting F.A.S.T. and calling 999 if you notice any single one of the signs in yourself or others.
The F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) acronym has featured in the advertising for a number of years and is a simple test to help people identify the most common signs of a stroke, and emphasises the importance of acting quickly by calling 999:
Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
Speech – is their speech slurred?
Time – to call 999
Dr Steve Ollerton, Clinical Leader, NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG and local GP said:
“When someone suffers a stroke, the blood supply to part of the brain is blocked. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention as every minute is vital. This campaign urges individuals to act without hesitation for themselves, and on the behalf of others.”
There are over 100,000 strokes a year in the UK, causing over 40,000 deaths. Patients getting properly diagnosed and having blood clots treated in a stroke unit within six hours have better outcomes. That’s why calling 999 is so crucial.
Dr David Kelly, Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said:
“An ambulance can give stroke patients those extra precious minutes, as not only will treatment be faster, but patients will be taken to the nearest appropriate Stroke Unit where they can be given immediate specialist treatment.”
Whether it’s a friend, loved one or even a stranger, dialling 999 quickly and acting F.A.S.T saves lives and gives stroke sufferers their best chance at recovery and potentially reduce long-term effects.
The campaign includes TV, press, radio, social media and outdoor advertising. Visit the Act F.A.S.T. website for further information: www.nhs.uk/actfast
Act F.A.S.T Make the Call. Dial 999.
Search ‘Act FAST’ for more information