Marr's wife criticises care system
Published on 02 August 2013 11:30 AM
Andrew Marr's wife has hit out at the level of post-hospital care available to people who have suffered a stroke.
Jackie Ashley, a Guardian columnist, claims that not enough is done to look after individuals once they return home.
In a blog about caring for her husband, she said the inflexibility of the community care system is 'staggering'.
But she reserved special praise for the 'wonderful, wonderful, wonderful' care and attention that the NHS gave Mr Marr during his time in hospital.
The BBC journalist, 53, spent two months in hospital after suffering a stroke in January this year, followed by months of physiotherapy to help him walk again.
'I've been contacted by many, many stroke victims and the general view is that hospital care is excellent, but there's very little support after that,' said Ms Ashley.
'Daily, intensive physio and occupational therapy in the hospital are suddenly replaced with a visit once a week, if you are lucky, from the community services.
'Given that so many stroke victims, and others who have suffered neurological injuries, would be able to get back to work and look after themselves with better rehabilitation after leaving hospital, this is surely a false economy.'
150,000 people have a stroke in England every year
Around 150,000 people have a stroke in England each year, of which a quarter of them are of working age.
Mr Marr blamed overworking and intense periods of exercise for his stroke, which has weakened the left side of his body, claiming he was 'lucky to be alive'.
He is due to return to presenting his Sunday morning politics show in September, as well as BBC Radio 4's Start the Week programme later this year.
Campaigners have come out and said that many survivors feel 'abandoned' when they return home, swapping intensive daily care in hospital for weekly appointments.
The Government is currently considering plans to make the life of a carer much easier in the hope that this will have a positive knock-on effect for patients, such as those who have suffered a stroke.
'Proposals in the Care Bill will put carers on a similar legal footing as the people they support, with extended rights to an assessment of their needs, and the first ever right to support from their local authority,' declared a spokeswoman for the Department of Health.
Copyright Press Association 2013