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Stroke services face axe over funding cut

Blackpool town crier Barry McQueen back at home in Blackpool after suffering a heart attack and stroke while on holiday in Corfu.

Blackpool town crier Barry McQueen back at home in Blackpool after suffering a heart attack and stroke while on holiday in Corfu.

Vital services to help people who have suffered strokes on the Fylde coast face being scrapped – after funding was axed.

The Stroke Association fears it will no longer be able to provide its services after funding from Lancashire County Council ran out.

Since 2010 the charity, which has a Blackpool base, had been funded by County Hall.

But due to a cut in funding from central Government it can now no longer provide the money.

Desperate efforts are now being made to find some way to keep it going.

The Stroke Association provides a number of services including sending carers to people’s homes, providing advice to stroke sufferers and their families and treatment such as physiotherapy.

One service user, Blackpool town crier Barry McQueen, who suffered a stroke while on a cruise in Corfu in September 2012, said he was “very disappointed” with the news. “What a shame. They were so very helpful with me,” he added. “I can’t say enough about them, they were absolutely fabulous.”

A spokesman for the Stroke Association said: “For the past four years, our services have provided vital support to thousands of survivors to make their best possible recovery and to families adjusting to a life after stroke.

“We understand and recognise the incredibly difficult decisions being made by the council. We will continue to work closely with (the council) and others to try and ensure that these important and well established services are available for people in the future.”

Coun Tony Martin, cabinet member for adult and community services, said: “While we value the services provided by the Stroke Association, sadly it was always the case that we would only be able to help fund them for a limited period.

“When this funding ran out, we managed to find a further year’s funding from our own very limited budget.

“Further cuts in our grant from central Government inevitably mean that difficult decisions have to be made, but we are working closely with the Stroke Association and other partners to see if we can find new ways to keep the service going.”

 

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