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Stroke awareness adverts effectively boost 999 calls

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A stroke awareness campaign has resulted in more people phoning emergency services and more patients being treated more quickly, according to the government.

Act Fast advertisements were shown at the beginning of last year and resulted in the NHS in England taking an extra 24% in calls relating to stroke, adding up to a total of 229,974 enquiries during April and May alone.

Around 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke each year and the adverts were designed to show the public how fast treatment can dramatically cut the chances of death and disability from stroke.

According to the Department of Health, the adverts were the cause of a 16% increase in the number of stroke patients being seen quicker.

New adverts are scheduled to be broadcast throughout March this year.

When the adverts were first broadcast in 2009, emergency calls for stroke were up 16%. After 2010’s broadcast the number was up another 20%.

People should generally be on the look-out for facial weakness, arm weakness and problems with speech, and should call 999 immediately if any one of these symptoms occur.

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