People urged to Act FAST on seeing stroke symptoms to save lives

Encouraging people to act on the signs of a stroke: Face, Arms, Speech, Time to call 999

Residents in Lancashire and South Cumbria are being urged not to delay seeking help if they have signs of having a stroke and to ‘Act F.A.S.T’ to save lives – the NHS is open.

Data from the lockdown period of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic last year show that admissions to hospital for stroke fell – a 12% drop between March and April 2020.

NHS staff have been working together to ensure that stroke care and urgent treatment can safely continue while responding to the pandemic.

The main signs of stroke can be remembered with the word FAST:

  • Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • Arms – can they raise both their arms and keep them there?
  • Speech – is their speech slurred?
  • Time – time to call 999.

Jennifer Gardner, Head of Stroke Support at the Stroke Association, said: “Every 5 minutes, someone in the UK will have a stroke. The most common signs of stroke are changes to the face, arms, and speech. Acting FAST as soon as you see a single sign of stroke not only saves lives it can potentially limit any long-term effects such as disability too. The faster you act the better their chances.


Dr Nick Roberts, Clinical Director of Medicine for the Elderly at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Stroke is a medical emergency, acting FAST and getting timely treatment saves lives. As soon as you see any of the signs of stroke in yourself or someone else, call 999 straight away. The NHS is open, safe and if you suffer a stroke will want to see you as soon as possible – don’t hesitate, just call 999.”

For more information about stroke, visit the NHS website.

To find out more about the Stroke Association visit:

For information about the stroke programme in Lancashire and South Cumbria visit: