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Helping to stop strokes

A new scheme aimed at spotting heart conditions earlier has been announced by NHS England as part of its renewed focus on preventing and tackling killer conditions.

Running until March 2020, the £9 million scheme will target around 18,000 people at higher risk of experiencing a stroke, such as those with atrial fibrillation who are not currently receiving treatment. These patients will be identified by specialist nurses and clinical pharmacists and will be offered a personalised treatment plan developed with their GP.

It is hoped that the new scheme will prevent around 700 strokes, saving an estimated 200 lives and stopping long-term health problems among thousands more, including disability.

Juliet Bouverie, chief executive of the Stroke Association, said: “This is a great step in the right direction. We’re pleased that pharmacists now have the tools to spot people most likely to have a stroke, so that they can be supported and spared the devastation stroke brings. Most people don’t know if they have atrial fibrillation and we’d like to see more speaking with a pharmacist or visiting their GPs to get checked.”

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