Guest blog post by Dr Dale Webb, Director of Research and Information, Stroke Association
Action on Stroke Month is all about reaching out to stroke survivors and carers to help raise awareness of stroke. For further information please see http://www.stroke.org.uk/strokemonth
Action on Stroke Month is here. It’s an opportunity to bring stroke to the forefront of discussions and ensure more people are aware of this devastating condition. Through this blog, I hope you’ll get a sense of what’s going on in stroke research.
I’m Director of Research and Information at Stroke Association, and pleased to announce that we have invested over £40 million in studies which have significantly had an impact on stroke clinical practice and policy. In fact, our funding contributes about 11% per annum of the total public and charitable sector spending on stroke research in the UK. Our latest research report shows our 20 year commitment to research. Not bad for a medium-sized charity with an annual income of around £31m.
We recently undertook a comprehensive review of our research strategy and we’ll launch the findings in December 2013 at the main scientific stroke conference – the UK Stroke Forum.
Moving forward we want to play a key role in shaping the agenda for stroke research. Working with national experts and other funders we are collaborating to develop a consensus statement on UK stroke research priorities, providing a much stronger focus for funders and researchers alike.
UK stroke research is second in the world and we’re proud to have played a key role in developing a vibrant and diverse research community. We want to help build the next generations of research leaders, supporting their leadership development and nurturing their potential.
Of course we are proud too that our research has influenced health policy, practice and public opinion. But we want to go further, creating opportunities for high-level exchange between senior policy makers, clinicians and researchers. This begins next week (13 May 2013) with a roundtable meeting on depression and anxiety following a stroke.
We will be making the case for an increase in UK expenditure on stroke. With an ageing population, the current cost of stroke to the UK economy – currently around £9 billion each year – is likely to increase. We have a critical opportunity to address this now, by creating a step-change in the funding for stroke research. There have been phenomenal improvements in hyper acute care in recent years, in large part due to research. We need to see the same improvements across the care pathway, reducing costs to the system through better prevention and faster recovery.
As we enter a new phase of development in our approach to research at the Stroke Association we look forward to extending further our funding collaborations and to playing an even stronger role in building a strong stroke community. If you’re interested in applying for a research funding visit our webpage. In the coming blogs during Action on Stroke Month we’ll cover hot topics in stroke research and feedback on the roundtable.