25th Mar, 2019

'Lifeline' funding for Droitwich stroke survivors and their carers is facing the axe

THERE are fears for the future of funding which has provided a lifeline to stroke survivors and their carers across Worcestershire since 2016.

The Stroke Association received a letter stating, as part of a Worcestershire County Council funding review, its £89,000-a-year contract was facing the axe.

The service is jointly paid for by the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and the county council and the loss of half the cash could have a devastating effect on post-stroke care in Worcestershire.

Bromsgrove has the only Life After Stroke Centre in the UK, meaning back-up support for carers of stroke survivors is as good as it can be.

The cash which goes towards personal carers is seen as the best possible ‘value for money’ and providing it from private or independent care companies would cost the local authority a lot more.

Nathan Oswin, The Stroke Association’s local campaigns officer, said losing the service would be a disaster for stroke survivors and their families.

“Our team use their decades of experience supporting stroke survivors, to provide the best care and offer real value to the taxpayers of Worcestershire.

“The Life After Stroke Centre in Bromsgrove alone is a one of a kind centre, which stroke survivors, their families and their carers depend on for respite, support and social activities – this is vital for their recovery.”

He added the charity would ensure it represented those who depended on the Stroke Association and continue to highlight the serious concerns of stroke survivors and their carers to the county council.

Bromsgrove District Council Deputy Leader Coun Karen May said: “The money provided by the county council has done so much good since it was introduced and we need to make sure it continues.”

She added there had already been a lot of movement with where stroke care was provided in the county with it moving from Bromsgrove to Worcester and Evesham and now talk of it going to the Alex.

“We need stability with both where stroke care is provided, the funding and the help and support available for people when they have suffered a stroke.

“We need to get everyone around the table and work towards safeguarding the long-term future of this funding for everyone who needs it.”

A Worcestershire County Council spokesperson said: “A decision about how carers of stroke survivors will be supported after March 31, 2019, is still to be made and the county council is in discussions with the Stroke Association and the Worcestershire Association of Carers (WAC).”

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