A pioneering £1.6 million Bradford-based research project has been highlighted on a new website aiming to increase public awareness of strokes.

The study, based around the development of an after-care strategy for stroke patients, features as part of an online resource set up this week by the National Institute for Health Research.

The investigation is being led by Anne Forster, Professor of Stroke Rehabilitation at the University of Leeds, and based in the Bradford Institute for Health Research at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

“This is a unique study to improve long-term care for stroke patients via an innovative care strategy,” said Professor Forster. “The aim is to identify effective interventions and pioneering ideas to support long-term after care and help stroke survivors and their families with day-to-day life.

“We want to find out about the needs, opportunities and challenges of supporting stroke survivors and their carers after they have been discharged from hospital services.

“I am delighted to share a platform with some of country’s key researchers in stroke, and hope the new website helps to raise awareness of clinical research in our region and encourage more patients across the country to take part.”

According to NIHR data, there are 10,600 strokes per year across Yorkshire and the Humber.

The study, which involves collaboration with The Stroke Association, will collect vital information via a national survey, interviews with stroke survivors and their families, and discussions with health, social care and voluntary workers in stroke services across England.

More than 400 patients in West Yorkshire took part in stroke research last year, helping medical professionals gain an insight into the many different aspects of the condition.

Mick Speed, 68, of Frizinghall, suffered a stroke aged 58, and is now a lay member of the Yorkshire and UK stroke research networks.

As a member of the Yorkshire Consumer Regional Advisory Group, he had a direct input on behalf of stroke patients into the aims of the care strategy study.

“It it vital that the patients’ point of view is considered in this research, as there is no-one better to inform what aftercare is required than people who have actually been through a stroke,” he said.

“There has to be long-term support for stroke survivors and carers, but at present, getting that support can be a bit of a postcode lottery.

“Rebuilding confidence is often the biggest problem, and can take a lot of time and effort, not just for patients, but for their carers as well.”

For more information on the ground-breaking research, visit www.focusonstroke.nihr.ac.uk.