Welcome to the round up of 2011 Stroke Foundation blog. I would like to begin with a thank you for your generous support of the Stroke Foundation. Without your help, we could not provide vital services to the many people affected by stroke every year.
In 2011 our team has been involved in many new initiatives for stroke and has also been finalising a number of projects that have been in development. Some new projects include a comprehensive consumer resource – My Stroke Journey to be distributed to people when they have their stroke – which we expect to be rolled out in 2012. This initiative will serve as a roadmap of available services and a guide to the complex path to recovery many stroke survivors will tread. Developed out of a clear need expressed by the stroke community – survivors, families and carers - the kit will complement StrokeLine, which is an important freecall service where any individual can speak to an NSF health professional for advice and support about stroke.
A comprehensive survey of the needs of stroke survivors, families and carers is also being undertaken. This important work reflects our commitment to supporting every individual touched by stroke from their hospital admission to rehabilitation and their return home. This research project will survey 1,000 stroke survivors and carers using methodology already endorsed and tested by the UK Stroke Association, to estimate the long-term unmet need for stroke care in Australia. A survey of this scope has not previously been conducted here and we are grateful to The Trust Company and Collier Charitable Foundation for their generous support in funding this important piece of work.
We have just launched a successful audit of acute stroke services in Australian hospitals. A detailed and exhaustive process that is drawn from feedback from participating hospitals in Australia who see more than 100 cases of stroke every year. From this survey we can provide a snapshot of the strengths and weaknesses of the system as it pertains to stroke. The final document, which we revisit every two years, is used to measure progress in acute stroke services and is a guide to where improvements need to be made. While there have been some improvements, Australian hospitals are still lacking an adequate number of stroke units where we know if stroke patients are admitted in the first instance they are most likely to recover and have the best chance of returning to an independent life.
We have also enjoyed wonderful support from the community in some of the new fundraising events we have initiated. A highlight of our fundraising this year is Food for Thought. Held this year in Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart, the event brings together elite chefs who kindly donate their time, skill and produce to provide an evening of fine food and entertainment while drawing attention to the seriousness of stroke. Life-sized photographic portraits of stroke survivors remind guests and sponsors of why they have been brought together. Some images from the 2011 program are included here for your interest as well as 2012 program dates. Please consider supporting one of these beautiful evenings next year. Other fundraising initiatives include this year’s inaugural Walk for Stroke, where a group of supporters walked the stunning Great Ocean Rd to raise money for NSF. Our thanks and appreciation for such a great achievement. Support continues from our very loyal community and we are extremely grateful to the donors, volunteers, foundations, companies and private benefactors who generously contribute to our cause.
Our mission remains to stop stroke, save lives and end suffering. With your continued help we work towards realising this goal every year. In the meantime we are able to provide better support for the stroke community and can continue to lobby the Governments of Australia for better services for stroke - at every stage of the journey – for survivors, their family and friends. Thank you. Every dollar we raise makes a difference and we cannot achieve our mission without you.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or comments about our work and we hope you have a safe and healthy summer.
Note: More about the stroke survivor and carer survey.
Have you had a stroke? Are you a carer of someone who has had a stroke?
The National Stroke Foundation is conducting a national survey of stroke survivors and carers of stroke survivors. We need your help to find out what stroke support or services are currently needed in Australia. This information will help to inform strategy and advocacy work of the National Stroke Foundation.
Please click here to download a patient information sheet for you and your carer to read, so that you can decide if one or both of you wish to complete the survey. It contains detailed information about the project and clearly explains all of the processes involved.
To participate please click here and complete the online survey or call 1800 STROKE (1800 787 653) to complete the survey over the telephone
If you prefer to be contacted by post please email email@example.com with your postal address to receive a survey in the mail.