ACT F.A.S.T Stroke Awareness

On 2 February 2017, Public Health England re-launched the national “Act F.A.S.T.” stroke campaign, working closely with the Stroke Association. 

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the symptoms of stroke and to encourage people who recognise any single one of the symptoms of stroke, in themselves or others, to call 999 immediately. 

The campaign is built around the ‘Act F.A.S.T.’ (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) acronym to emphasise the importance of acting quickly by calling 999: 

A stroke is a serious, life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. The common symptoms of stroke and what to do about them can be remembered with the word FAST: Face, Arms, Speech, Time:

  • Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile or their mouth or eye may have dropped
  • Arms – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift one or both arms and keep them there because of arm weakness or numbness
  • Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake
  • Time – it is time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms. 

Acting F.A.S.T. as soon as stroke symptoms present themselves can not only save lives but potentially limit long-term effects. There are over 100,000 strokes a year in the UK, causing over 40,000 deaths with two thirds of stroke survivors leaving hospital with a disability.

This campaign aims to highlight the role that others can play when someone is having a stroke, empowering them to call 999 if they notice any symptoms. 

Act F.A.S.T. Make the Call. Dial 999.

Information, advice and support service from the Stroke Association

If you or someone you care about has had a stroke, the Stroke Association can provide practical advice, essential information and emotional support. 

The Association offers a range of services in Hertfordshire: 

  • Hospital and home visits
  • Signposting to support groups
  • Support in returning to work
  • Information about local leisure and social activities
  • Support and information for carers
  • Information leaflets and factsheets in a range of languages
  • Referral to other organisations that also offer help

For more information, visit the Stroke Association website.