28th February 2017

FAST - Public Health England

FAST - Public Health England

NHS Public Health England has relaunched its national “Act FAST” stroke campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the symptoms of stroke and encourages people who recognise any single one of the symptoms of stroke, in themselves or others, to call 999 immediately.

The primary audience for the campaign is people who are more likely to experience a stroke which includes people aged 50 and over and people with medical conditions including diabetes (which can affect sight), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat). The campaign also focuses on their friends, family and carers and encourages them if they witness somebody showing any single one of the stroke symptoms to overcome any initial reluctance and ‘Make the Call’, dial 999.

Working closely with the Stroke Association 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:

Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile

Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there

Speech – is their speech slurred?

Time to call 999

Acting F.A.S.T. as soon as stroke symptoms present themselves can not only save lives but potentially limit long-term effects.