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Campaigning for Change

NI Chest Heart and Stoke is the only local charity campaigning for change. We are leading the local fight against chest heart and stroke conditions in Northern Ireland. That’s why we actively campaign for better care and prevention of these conditions, working with politicians of all parties and health bodies.

By listening and working with people affected by chest, heart and stroke conditions, we can drive improvements in the prevention and treatment of those conditions and offer the best care for people and survivors. We are on your side and together we can fight chest, heart and stroke conditions in Northern Ireland.

For more information on our current campaigns and policy positions, see below.

  • Every day in Northern Ireland, around 11 people have a stroke and 3 people die as a result. Stroke has devastating consequences for individuals and families and NICHS is the only local charity offering care and support services to people and families. But we want to do more for our local CHS community.

    NICHS lead pre-consultations with the stroke community to inform and improve stroke services and is now working to influence the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to improve stroke care and prevention in NI.

    We are campaigning for:

    • Increased action to prevent strokes in the first place. We want to see more action taken to raise awareness, detect and manage the stroke risk relating to conditions such as Atrial Fibrillation and TIAs (mini-stroke) and supporting people to make healthy lifestyle choices
    • More extensive community rehabilitation and support services to be made available to people after a stroke in the community with regular review meetings (Read more about our care services here)
    • The review and improvement of acute hospital stroke services. Increased specialisation in Hyper Acute Stroke Units and the development of new services to save lives and reduce disability
    • Voluntary and community stroke services to be a key part of the stroke pathway and for more emphasis on improving quality of life and independence by ensuring all survivors have access to Taking Control self- management support
  • We are driving forward change to improve AF. It is time to talk about AF in NI.

    Atrial Fibrillation is a heart condition which is estimated to affect over 50,000 people in Northern Ireland and is a significant contributor to premature death and disability.

    Approximately 40,000 people having been diagnosed with this condition, however, this means that there are about 10,000 people in Northern Ireland who are currently unaware they have this condition.

    AF can increase the risk of stroke by 5 times (more than any other cardiovascular risk factor) which is why NICHS is campaigning for more focus on AF in Ireland and commissioned a local independent AF inquiry.

    We are campaigning for:

    • An AF strategy and an AF champion for Northern Ireland
    • Further investment in AF testing technology within clinical practice to detect undiagnosed and then to ensure patients are receiving effective treatment, advice and follow up monitoring
    • Reduced waiting lists for an echocardiogram to test for AF and other heart conditions
    • Provision of high quality and consistent information and education to people living with AF. This will help patients to improve self -management of their condition and to understand the importance of taking their medication
    • Public awareness campaigns to increase knowledge of AF and that this condition can increase the risk of stroke by up to five times
  • Asthma can kill and that is a sad reality. More action is required to raise awareness of asthma impact and to make sure children, young people and adults take their asthma medicine as prescribed and have regular asthma checks.

    NICHS established and is leading a local Asthma Taskforce consisting of clinicians, public health colleagues and community representatives.

    Our aim is to raise awareness of Asthma and to reduce the burden of asthma amongst young people.

    We are campaigning and carrying out the following:

    • Increased education and awareness for primary and secondary healthcare professionals, primarily aimed at improving care for children with asthma

    • Raising awareness of asthma education and practice within schools and community to support and educate young people with asthma

    • Improved asthma care in Northern Ireland, placing it higher on the health agenda and significantly improve care for asthma sufferers in Northern Ireland and prevent new cases

    • Raise awareness and call for more action to reduce air pollution and other environmental factors that contribute to asthma


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