Regular readers of this blog may remember that some time ago I wrote about the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Heart Disease and Stroke. I have been a member of a sub-group of the CPG which has been steadily working towards a Charter for Stroke Survivors in Scotland over the last few months. This group has included health professionals and representatives of stroke charities. In drawing up the Charter we have gone through several drafts as we tried to gain positive endorsements from charities and the professional bodies representing clinicians. I am pleased to say that we will be presenting the Charter to the Cross Party Group on Heart Disease and stroke later today, hoping to obtain their approval for the final version of the Charter.
When stroke survivors are discharged from hospital, they are often left to “get on with it”, with little in the way of meaningful support from the health and social care services. The Charter aims to make stroke survivors and their carers aware of what should be available to them locally. It will be distributed on paper via stroke units and health and social care professionals, and it will be available on-line via the websites of health charities, NHS Health Boards, and other organisations. Very importantly, it will appear in a format professionally designed by speech and language therapists to be accessible to stroke surivivors who suffer from aphasia and other language difficulties. We hope to have an official “celebration” of the document in December in the Scottish Parliament. Throughout this process, we have enjoyed great support from Helen Eadie MSP, who chairs the Cross Party Group. If the CPG endorses the Charter today, there will be a version of it posted on this blog.
If even one survivor or carer feels less alone and better supported as a result of reading and learning from this Charter, it will have achieved its purpose.