HEALTH bosses are urging the public to ‘Act FAST’ if they or a loved one shows signs of stroke symptoms.
The doctors, from the clinical commissioning group of Herefordshire and Worcestershire, are backing the next phase of the NHS Help Us Help You campaign aimed at advising the public not to put off seeking medical help because of coronavirus.
They say dedicated NHS staff have worked hard to ensure anyone who needs stroke care can safely get it despite the threat of Covid-19 poses.
As part of the Help Us Help You campaign, people being asked to continue to act F.A.S.T. – Face, Arms, Speech, Time – and dial 999 if a stroke strikes.
Dr Carl Ellson, medical director of the local CCG said: “Everyone should know that the NHS is still open for business and it is vitally important if people have serious conditions or concerns they seek help.
“Whilst the amazing efforts to provide safe treatment to patients during the coronavirus pandemic have been incredible, stroke has still been a priority.
“At all times the NHS has been able to provide care for everyone who has urgently needed it, but it’s a real concern that the number of people coming forward for stroke care at the right time has gone down.
“So, if you or a loved one experience stroke symptoms, please help us help you, act FAST, and call 999.
“Our expert paramedics, stroke nurses, radiologists and doctors will ensure you get the care you need as quickly as possible.”
The FAST acronym is a simple test to help people identify the most common signs of a stroke, and emphasises the importance of acting quickly by calling 999:
Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
Speech – is their speech slurred?
Time to call 999