There have been vital improvements made in the way stroke patients are treated since the launch of a national strategy 18 months ago, MPs have been told.
And junior health minister Ann Keen said that many lives have been saved through a TV campaign watched by around 92% of the population.
The government is providing £105 million from 2008 to 2011 to support the implementation of the National Stroke Strategy. The money is being used to speed up improvements in acute and community services, on stroke-specific training for health professionals, and on public and professional awareness of the symptoms of strokes.
At the same time, the NHS launched an Act FAST national awareness campaign to alerts viewers to the symptoms of “face, arms and speech” before appealing: “Time to call 999 if a person shows any of these signs.”
Ms Keen said: "The effectiveness of the campaign is now being assessed – but we already know it has been seen in one region or another by some 92% of the population.
"Although we can never really measure the achievements of such a campaign, it is more likely that outcomes have already been improved for many people and possibly of course their lives saved."