‘Stroke survivors will be left to feel abandoned’

Stroke Association opposing East Sussex County Council cuts to services outside County Hall, Lewes (photo submitted).

Cuts to funding for stroke services in East Sussex have been branded ‘outrageous’ by one charity.

The Tory-led East Sussex County Council approved its budget for 2018/19, which includes £17m of cuts and a 5.99 per cent council tax increase, at a meeting today (Tuesday February 6).

One of the savings proposed is a review of £79,000 worth of funding provided to The Stroke Association, which has helped support 4,200 survivors and 1,850 carers since 2009 in East Sussex.

Tara Galloway, head of stroke support for the Stroke Association, said: “This vital funding pays for the Stroke Association’s communication support service, stroke recovery service, six month review service and education and exercise programme. Without all this support, stroke survivors will be left to feel abandoned.

“Stroke is a leading cause of disability, and our services have helped thousands of people in the local area cope with the massive and sudden impact the condition can have. The support we provide helps people live independently in their own homes, return to work, and rebuild their lives.”

The budget saving proposal’s impact assessment says: “People affected by stroke would be affected by a reduction in prevention, support and advice to live independently and have equality of opportunity in daily life, equal access and mobility. Potential impact for individuals and their families / carers to manage the condition and live independently.”

Addressing the specific cuts to stroke services, Keith Glazier, leader of the county council, said: “We had the opportunity to do something different last year, but I hope you understand how dire making these cuts are now, we do not have that luxury of doing things.”

He suggested the review may identify alternative sources of funding,

The charity is inviting residents to a consultation event on Monday March 26 at 1.30pm at Bexhill Medical Centre.

For more information about stroke visit the charity’s website or call the helpline on 0303 303 3100.

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