Time is brain – dial 999 if you think you’re having a stroke

If you’re having a stroke, you need urgent medical attention. So recognising the signs and dialling 999 for an ambulance is vital, say the East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.

In emergencies such as this every second counts. The right treatment will stop your condition getting worse and improve your chances of recovery.

Since January stroke services have been improving for more than 430,000 East Berkshire residents. The improvements are the culmination of two years’ planning by the East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, involving local clinicians, patients, the public and the Stroke Association from the start.

Now, stroke patients are being taken straight to their nearest hyper acute stroke unit by ambulance to receive the best possible care.

Local hyper acute stroke units are sited at:

  • Frimley Park Hospital, Camberley
  • Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading
  • St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey
  • Wycombe General Hospital, High Wycombe

East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Groups have also commissioned a stroke rehabilitation unit at Wexham Park Hospital for patients who need further rehabilitation in hospital after leaving a hyper acute stroke unit.

Fiona Slevin-Brown, Director of Strategy and Operations for East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “These new arrangements, which provides clot-busting treatment (thrombolysis) and 24-hour specialist stroke care, are expected to save lives in the years ahead by improving people’s quality of life and maximising their chances of remaining independent at home after a stroke.

“However, I would like to remind people that if they think they are having a stroke, they must dial 999 immediately and not just go to the nearest hospital, which may not be the right place for them.”

You could save your own or someone else’s life, or help limit the long-term effects of stroke, by learning to think and act FAST:

  • Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile or their mouth or eye may have drooped
  • Arms – the person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm
  • Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all, despite appearing to be awake
  • Time – it is time to dial 999 immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms