MORE than 3,300 people have been admitted to Barnsley Hospital as a result of suffering a stroke in the last five years, shock new statistics have revealed.

The town’s figure of 3,365 eclipses Doncaster and Rotherham’s admissions - despite having a smaller population than both.

According to a report to the South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, Barnsley’s admissions have remained relatively stable since 2016/17 but the latest available - for 2020/21 - are the lowest in the five-year period at 620.

Males account for most admissions, with one in five aged between 80 and 84.

It said: “Looking at admissions, by deprivation of area of residence, shows a strong social gradient.

“There are significantly more admissions from the most deprived neighbourhoods compared with the least.

“Age at admission shows 76 per cent of stroke admissions are for people aged 65 and over, varying from 70.2 per cent for males to 82.1 per cent for females, suggesting males are admitted with strokes at a younger age than females.

“Less than four per cent of stroke admissions are in people aged under 45.

“Admission rates have been higher in Barnsley compared with other areas for much of the past decade.”

Residents in Dodworth are the most-affected in Barnsley at 278 admissions per 100,000 people, which is the second-highest in South Yorkshire.

Worsbrough’s 273.3 and Worsbrough Common’s 272.1 per 100,000 are also some of the highest in the county.

One aspect referred to as to why the town’s rate is high is its obesity levels - the percentage of adults aged 19 and above who achieve 150 minutes of physical activity per week stands at just 60.9 per cent.

It is less than the regional average of 64.6 per cent and 66 per cent nationally.

Professor Stephen Powis said the ‘obesity crisis’ is putting hundreds of thousands of people at greater risk of becoming severely ill from heart-related conditions such as strokes.

“Carrying extra pounds not only puts a strain on your physical health, but also on the health service,” he added.

“There has never been a better time to take steps to live a healthier lifestyle.

“Tackling killer conditions like stroke is a key part of our long-term plan for the NHS.

“As clinicians and as leaders we have a responsibility to drive this forward and to make the case for change, because we know that the prize is so great: thousands more people surviving and thriving after stroke.”

Data shows the average time from onset of stroke symptoms to first medical presentation for Barnsley patients is approximately 15 hours - which compares with a national and a regional average of 3.5 hours.

Consultant James Griffiths said: “We know that the people of Barnsley are stoic and sometimes don’t want to bother anyone but it is vitally important that, if they notice symptoms of a stroke - facial droop, arm or leg weakness or speech difficulty - they must dial 999 ASAP.

“This will give them the best chance of receiving the best possible care.

“As with most conditions, getting the right patient to the right specialist at the right time is crucial in ensuring we get the best possible outcomes for Barnsley stroke patients.”