Action Call to Avoid Escalating the Crisis in Community Care 24 January 2023 Call for Charity Run Community Services to be at the Heart of new National Care Service Scotland’s largest charity caring for people in the community with stroke and heart conditions is calling for urgent action to prevent the crisis in community care from escalating. The call from Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland comes after the latest stroke and heart disease figures released by Public Health Scotland today (Tuesday 24th January 2023) show that in 2021/22: The number of people surviving a stroke is at its highest level in the last 10 years The number of people surviving a heart attack is at the second highest level in 10 years The leading health charity is highlighting the importance of providing ongoing support to those leaving hospital with people left feeling scared, alone, and unsupported in managing their health conditions. We know that in partnership with the National Care Service, we can be part of the solution that provides people across Scotland with the care and support they need. Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland Chief Executive, Jane-Claire Judson commented: “The data released today by Public Health Scotland illustrates that NHS staff are continuing to do great work in helping people survive stroke and heart disease under very tough circumstances. However, it reminds us that there is rising demand for support to help people rebuild their lives once they get home from hospital. “People tell us that when they leave hospital is when they feel most scared and alone. That has very real consequences for their health and pressures on local health and care services. We need to see bold action to stop the crisis in community care from escalating. “There is a huge opportunity for the forthcoming National Care Service to integrate with support services provided by charities such as CHSS to ensure that everyone living with chest, heart and stroke conditions can receive the support they need to live their lives to the full. “We know that in partnership with the National Care Service, we can be part of the solution that provides people across Scotland with the care and support they need.” 80-year-old Robin Russell had a quadruple bypass when he was 53 and has since had a second bypass and several heart operations to insert stents. The retired college lecturer is the chair and treasurer of Carluke Cardiactives, a rehabilitation and support group affiliated to Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland and supported by NHS Lanarkshire. He believes there is greater support required for those with cardiac issues to prevent problems becoming more serious. The NHS does amazing work, but there’s always more that can be done and establishing and supporting community groups is an easy win. Robin said: “What we really need are more groups like ours at Carluke Cardiactives, based in leisure and recreation centres and solely open to people with heart disease. We are the only group in our area, but we know demand for places is high. “And there’s nothing in the evenings or at weekends for people who have perhaps had a heart attack and then been able to go back to work. I feel for those people because they still need the ongoing rehab and support that these groups can provide. “Not only do the groups encourage you to get active, but you’re with people who are going through the same thing and can share their experiences. “The NHS does amazing work, but there’s always more that can be done and establishing and supporting community groups is an easy win.” If you’re living with the effects of heart disease and stroke and looking for advice and information, please contact Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0899. You can also text NURSE to 66777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.