On the publication of a new charter for people living with stroke in Scotland Angela McLeod explains how it will make a difference.
“I remember only too clearly the feelings of confusion, isolation and being cut adrift which I felt on being discharged from hospital four months after suffering a major stroke” says Eric Sinclair, stroke survivor and volunteer with the Stroke Association.
“The Charter for people living with stroke in Scotland”, which goes public this week, aims to improve the experience and access to community services for thousands of people who have a stroke every year by arming them, their families, service providers and politicians with clear, evidence based information.
The Charter describes clearly what care and support services should be available to people living with stroke following their discharge from a hospital stroke unit (if they need them). In doing so it enables service users, spouse, councillors, MSPs and others to ask informed questions about the availability of services in their local area.
The Charter is available in a general communication accessible version and an “aphasia friendly” version at www.strokecharterscotland.org.uk. It has been sent to stroke units, across Scotland – ready to give to people as they leave hospital.
The late Helen Eadie MSP, as Convenor of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Heart Disease and Stroke was the inspiration and leader of the team which developed the Charter. Written by people living with stroke, MSPs and health professionals in consultation with social care colleagues, it draws on Scottish Government policy and the best evidence of what people need and benefit from to describe what all local services should aspire to provide. It is not however a Scottish Government policy or an instruction to local providers.
The Charter has been widely endorsed by people living with stroke, voluntary organisations. professional bodies and other organisations and alliances. Dennis Roberston, MSP and Convenor of the Heart Disease and Stroke Cross Party Group who is hosting an event to celebrate publication of the Charter said: “Information is empowering and I hope this Charter helps people living with stroke access the health, social care and voluntary sector services they need.
To get hold of the Charter, to give it your support or for more information visit www.strokecharterscotland.org.uk.
Angela MacLeod Communications Manager for the Stroke Association in Scotland.