RESIDENTS are being urged to act F.A.S.T. if someone is showing signs of a stroke.

NHS England, working with the Stroke Association, has relaunched the Act F.A.S.T. campaign and the scheme highlights that a stroke is a medical emergency and urges people to call 999 immediately if they notice signs of a stroke in themselves or others.

The primary audience for the campaign is people aged 50 and over, as this age group is more likely to experience a stroke.

The campaign is also relevant to a wider all adult audience of ‘stroke savers’ who may witness somebody showing one of the stroke signs, be it a loved one or a friend.

The aim of the campaign is to reduce the amount of time between someone having a stroke and arriving at hospital and therefore receiving appropriate care.

The main symptoms of a stroke are a facial droop, arm or leg weakness and speech difficulty.

Barnsley emergency medicine consultant and the hospital’s deputy medical director, James Griffiths, said: “A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition that happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.

“Urgent treatment is essential. The sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen. We know that the people of Barnsley are stoic and sometimes don’t want to bother anyone but it is vitally important that, if they notice symptoms of a stroke – facial droop, arm or leg weakness or speech difficulty – they must dial 999 as soon as possible.

“This will give them the best chance of receiving the best possible care, which might involve being admitted to a Hyper Acute Stroke Unit in Doncaster or Wakefield.

“As with most conditions, getting the right patient to the right specialist at the right time is crucial in ensuring we get the best possible outcomes for Barnsley stroke patients.”

South Yorkshire integrated stroke delivery network manager, Jaimie Shepherd, added: “Stroke is the fifth single leading cause of death in South Yorkshire and each year there are around 450 people in Barnsley who experience a stroke. It is so important to seek urgent help and dial 999 if you experience stroke symptoms. This will ensure that you are taken to the right hospital where you can receive life-saving and brain-saving treatment quickly. “We want everyone to be alert to the symptoms of stroke, so that if they witness someone they know experience these, they can Act F.A.S.T and get urgent help.”