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Stroke awareness strategy launched

A three-year £12 million communications campaign to promote public awareness around stroke was announced today by Health Minister Ann Keen.

The campaign will be launched in February 2009, and will be supported by advertising, public relations and direct marketing communications.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the UK and the single largest cause of adult disability in England.

The awareness campaign will teach the public and NHS staff to remember FAST - Face Arm Speech Time to call 999 - to help them recognise the symptoms of stroke and understand that prompt emergency treatment can reduce the risk of death and disability.

The announcement comes a year to the day after the National Stroke Strategy was launched. It had improving public awareness of the symptoms of stroke as one of its key goals.

Professor Roger Boyle, National Director for Heart Disease and Stroke, said: 'It's important to remember that the faster a stroke patient receives emergency treatment, the better their chances are of surviving and avoiding long-term disability.'

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