When a stroke strikes – act F.A.S.T. and call 999

When a stroke strikes – act F.A.S.T. and call 999

NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is supporting the national Public Health England Act F.A.S.T. campaign, which aims to raise public awareness of the symptoms of stroke and encourages people who recognise any single one of the symptoms of stroke to call 999 immediately.

Dr Peter Jenkins, Chair of NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said, “People will be familiar with the term heart attack and a stroke could be described as a brain attack, caused by a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain.  It’s a medical emergency that requires immediate attention, so recognising the signs of stroke and calling 999 for an ambulance is crucial.”

The F.A.S.T. acronym is easy to remember, can help people to identify the most common signs of a stroke and emphasises the importance of acting fast by calling 999.

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

Other symptoms to be aware of that may occasionally be due to a stroke includes:

  • Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Sudden memory loss or confusion
  • Sudden dizziness, unsteadiness or a sudden fail, especially with any of the other symptoms

Acting F.A.S.T. as soon as you recognise one, or more, of the stroke symptoms can not only save lives but also help to limit long-term effects associated with stroke.

Dr Jenkins added, “The sooner somebody who is having a stroke gets urgent medical attention, the better their chances of a good recovery.”

Approximately 110,000 people have a stroke each year in England.  It is the third largest cause of death, and the largest cause of complex disability – over half of all stroke survivors are left with a disability.

For further information:

NHS Wiltshire CCG communications team
T. 01380 736010 E.



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