TOO many North-East stroke survivors and their families say they feel abandoned when they leave hospital and are left to cope with the emotional impact of stroke.

A new report published today (Wednesday) by the Stroke Association reveals that the full emotional impact of the condition can be as devastating as the physical effects.

The charity's report, Feeling Overwhelmed, is based on the findings of a survey of 130 people, from across the region, affected by stroke. While hospital care is rated highly, the emotional strain on survivors and their families when they return home is underestimated and often overlooked by health and social care services, leaving people inadequately supported.

The report findings reveal that in the North-East, more than half of stroke survivors felt depressed and nearly three quarters experienced anxiety as a direct result of their stroke. They also reported high levels of fear of a recurrent stroke, anger and lack of confidence.

More than a third of stroke survivors said they felt abandoned after leaving hospital and four in ten had received no information or practical advice to help them cope with the emotional impact of stroke Stroke can also have a negative impact on relationships.

Nearly half of stroke survivors have experienced difficulties in their personal relationships with a husband, wife or partner as a result of stroke.

Peter Moore, head of operations for Stroke Association North East, says: "Better recognition by health and social care professionals of the impact of stroke will help people to be properly assessed and get the right support."

The Stroke Association is calling for psychological and emotional support to be seen as being as important to recovery as physical rehabilitation.