Stroke Awareness - How the Department of Health's Stroke Awareness campaign acted fast

Principal Authors: Charlie Snow – DLKW
Contributing Authors: Dan Gearing – DLKW; Jonathan Buck and Pau Torres – Fuel; Sam Bevans – Luther Pendragon; Pete Kemp – MEC


This is a powerful paper demonstrating how simple communications can change lives. The issue facing the Department of Health was the worrying level of ignorance amongst the general public as to how to spot the symptoms of stroke and what to do as a result. With 110,000 strokes in the UK per year, a wide-reaching, multi-channel campaign, aimed at a core elderly audience, pinpointed where stroke symptoms occur, the signs to look out for, and the action that needs to be taken with a memorable acronym, F.A.S.T: (Face; Arms; Speech; Time to call 999). The campaign successfully changed behaviour fast: within a year, an estimated 9,864 more people got to hospital faster, 642 of whom were saved from death or serious disability via clot-busting treatment. It achieved a payback of £3.20 for every £1 spent.