By Joanna Skailes
SCOTTISH health organisations are calling on the government to provide support for patients who have had a stroke and have difficulty communicating as a result.
The Lost Without Words campaign is urging ministers to give more attention to stroke survivors with speech difficulties and make communications support an integral part of stroke care.
The Stroke Association, Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland and Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in Scotland have joined forces on the back of the UK Lost Without Words report from the Stroke Association. They are also working with the charity Speakability, which works with people suffering from aphasia – where they find it hard to speak, read, write or understand language.
About 12,500 people have a stroke in Scotland each year. About 40% are left with physical, neurological or psychological damage and up to a third of that 40% face communication difficulties.
Campaigners are asking government and health boards to gather more comprehensive information about stroke survivors with a communication difficulty so support can be planned.
Maddy Halliday, director of the Stroke Association Scotland, said: “Aphasia is by far the most common communication disability and this can affect the ability to speak and understand language as well as the serious related effects such as distress, difficulties with day to day life and for some, the inability to get back to work.”