Stroke care inequality in Essex and Suffolk the focus of new research project

  • Date

    Fri 16 Feb 24

Generic photo of a doctor looking at notes inside a hospital

Researchers are combining with healthcare professionals in a bid to tackle an inequality in stroke care across the region.

The research project, titled Coastal Gap in Equality for Stroke Care Management, is focusing on the East Suffolk and North Essex coastal areas due to their high ranking in the Index of Multiple Deprivation.

Figures show circulatory conditions, such as strokes, are a leading contributor to lower life-expectancy in these areas, affecting people on no or low-incomes the most.

The University of Essex is working with the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust to identify inequalities in effective stroke care, their negative health outcomes, and their determinants.

Researchers will examine features of existing stroke services in North Essex and East Suffolk, seeking the views of patients and carers, and analysing data on using stroke services.

It is hoped this will help policymakers improve and adapt processes in stroke care to create equitable access for all.

Primary researcher Professor Reza Majdzadeh, from the School of Health and Social Care, said: “In the UK, 100,000 people suffer from strokes annually, with two-thirds suffering disability upon hospital discharge. Behind each of these numbers, there's human suffering.

“In coastal communities, the intersection of ageing and deprivation exacerbates challenges for stroke survivors.

"This study aims to identify systemic issues in stroke care and propose impactful solutions."

Essex is hosting a series of workshops in the coming weeks to give healthcare professionals the chance to have their say on stroke care in the region, and how it could be improved.

The first workshop will focus on rehabilitation and life after stroke, with further sessions centred around stroke prevention, pre-hospital, hyper and acute care and Transient Ischemic Attack - or mini stroke - Management.

It is hoped the sessions will provide perceptions and insights from stakeholders on each topic area, with researchers keen for professional service providers, managers, community organisations and even carers to get involved.

Prior to attending workshops, stakeholders will be asked to fill out description statements which will then be checked and used as a basis for further in-depth discussions during each workshop.

To get involved in the upcoming workshops, contact Research Officer Ahang Kareem via