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National stroke campaign “Act F.A.S.T” relaunched

The national stroke campaign “Act F.A.S.T” has been relaunched by Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England and Improvement.

The campaign aims to inform people about the signs of stroke and encourage them to call 999 immediately if they suspect simply one symptom in themselves or others.

It is built around the F.A.S.T (face, arms, speech, time) acronym and emphasises the importance of acting quickly by calling 999:

  • Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
  • Speech – is their speech slurred?
  • Time to call 999.

The launch today (March 9) is supported by TV advertising, broadcast video on demand, radio, social media, PR and translated communications for ethnic minority communities, according to PHE. The campaign will run until early May, creating lots of opportunities for pharmacy teams to get involved.

According to PHE, stroke strikes every five minutes in the UK. Yet there has been a significant fall in stroke admissions throughout the pandemic, with 1,413 excess deaths from stroke between 21 March 2020 and 22 January 2021 – seven per cent higher than expected.

Pharmacy teams can now download reseources from the PHE Campaign Resource Centre, including a campaign toolkit, posters, social media assets and web banners. New assets will be added, including translated assets and accessible formats (including British Sign Language), said PHE.

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