For too long the approach to raising the issues around stroke care has been fragmented. Commercial, patient and professional voices are often involved in separate campaigns leading to noise in the system that decision makers have all too easily been able to ignore. For this reason, on September 13th, Stroke Alliance for Europe European invited Stroke Organisation to host together a meeting with numerous representatives of the industry and communication agencies in the Stroke Association House, London.
Apart from SAFE’s representatives and ESO Vice-President the meeting was also attended by representatives from the following companies (in alphabetical order): Allergan, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Daichi Sankyo, Medtronic, Merz, Penumbra and Pfizer/BMS, and by PR and advocacy agencies Cohn & Wolfe, Gplus Europe and Weber Shandwick.

Together against stroke

The main purpose of the meeting was the introduction of the Burden of Stroke Report coming up next year.
The report is a part of research that will provide insights on the position regarding stroke care across the countries of Europe. It is expected that this report should enable benchmarking of provision in one state compared to another. Along similar timelines, ESO has an on-going research concerning trombectomy and acute care in Europe, launching a Survey at European level.
Both SAFE and ESO are coordinating to achieve a joint launch of mutual findings in European Stroke Awareness Month May 2017.
Jon Barrick, the President of SAFE stated that the immediate plan is to launch the Report at the EU in the week preceding the ESO European Stroke Congress which is the 16th to 18th May in Prague. This topic will receive further coverage at the ESO Congress in form of academic papers.
Sponsors of the Burden of Stroke Report will be involved in both the discussion of its findings and the formulation of recommendations, as well as participation in the EU and country launches. The next immediate point is to explore strategic planning of this sort of work for the following three years.
Discussion with Commercial and Professional stroke care partners has led us to the conclusion that a mutual exchange of information regarding how to raise the profile of stroke care and stroke as a cause would be beneficial, including details of timetables for activity.
From ESO and SAFE’s point of view we want to create the opportunity for evidence based policy making around stroke to be driven in a more coordinated and meaningful way, and to that end want to start a discussion, and be open, about patient and professional stroke care driven hopes and our willingness to work collaboratively to achieve better education, awareness and quality of stroke care.
In conclusion, Jon Barrick stated that although preliminary results of the Burden of stroke would be jointly discussed by SAFE, ESO and the industry at the SAFE Working Conference in Amsterdam in December 2016, all the recommendations will be decided solely by ESO and SAFE before publication.