North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker is one of the founding members – and Vice-Chairman – of a new group working to improve care for stroke patients.
Under the chairmanship of Sir Bob Neill, MP for Bromley & Chislehurst, the new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Stroke is working with the Stroke Association to improve the speed and standard of care for stroke patients across the UK.
Each year, there are more than 100,000 strokes nationwide and it is the fourth biggest killer in the UK. Over two thirds of the 1.3m stroke survivors in the UK leave hospital with a disability as a result of the condition.
Duncan, one of the founder members, and Vice-Chairman of the group, is keen to address the speed with which care is given to victims of strokes:
Slow ambulance response times are a perennial issue here in North Norfolk. Yet we know that one of the most critical factors in the recovery of a stroke patient will be the speed with which they receive treatment. Clot-busting drugs, such as Tissue Plasminogen Activators, are only effective for up to 4 hours following a stroke, so improving ambulance response times would be just one way we could improve patients’ chances.
Duncan has a very personal reason to be interested in the area of stroke care
My stepfather, Michael Baker – much loved in and around Holt – died following a stroke in 2019. I know first-hand what a devastating impact strokes can have both on those who suffer them and for their families. With a relatively elderly population in North Norfolk, we must do everything we can to help improve health care and advance research into stroke treatment.
He urges everyone to remember the simple lifesaving rule: FAST.
- Facial weakness – can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
- Arm weakness – can the person raise both arms?
- Speech problems – can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
- If not, it’s Time to call 999.