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Cost of treating stroke and social care needs could triple by 2035

Posted on 30/10/2017 by

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Cost of treating stroke and social care needs could triple by 2035

A CHARITY has warned the annual cost of treating stroke victims in Scotland will triple to £4.6 billion by 2035 unless more work is done on prevention and on coping with resulting disability.

The Stroke Association has called for "radical changes to the way stroke is prioritised and delivered in Scotland".

Figures from the organisation found that the current annual cost of such attacks is around £1.6bn, but it argues that informal costs to families and carers have been significantly underestimated.

They also predict that a growing population, increasing numbers of stroke survivors, and rising care costs are crucial factors behind the increasing financial burden of stroke over the next 20 years.

Andrea Cail, director for the Stroke Association in Scotland, said: "Researchers now predict that in less than 20 years' time, stroke could cost Scotland about £4.6billion every year. With the number of people living with stroke set to soar, and the cost of the condition spiralling, we need radical changes to the way stroke is prioritised and delivered in Scotland.

"The majority of the vast financial burden caused by stroke is shouldered by thousands of families and carers, who give up everything, including their jobs, to look after loved ones whose lives are turned upside down in an instant by stroke.

"We need to change the story and find new ways to tackle stroke prevention and reduce disability in individuals."

The study found that a sustained £60million investment across a number of priority areas of stroke research in the UK could lead to an overall saving of up to £10billion by 2035.

Professor Anita Patel, who led the research, said: "It is clear that informal carers make a huge contribution to stroke care, and that social care costs will increase substantially by 2035.

"There's no doubt that this will present real societal challenges in future. However, our research findings also show that there is great potential to alleviate some of these costs through increased investment in research."

The research was undertaken at Queen Mary University of London and London School of Economics, and was sponsored by Legal & General.

The Stroke Association's Change The Story campaign aims to highlight the underfunding of stroke research and calls on people to donate to towards research funding.

Source: HeraldScotland