Care for stroke patients is to undergo an overhaul following a pledge by the Department of Health (DH) to improve standards.
Reacting to a report from the House of Commons, the DH said that it will act to improve its response to suspected strokes by giving scans and treatment quicker, a move that could see hundreds of lives saved each year.
"Each year stroke afflicts more than 110,000 people of all ages, with a quarter of all stroke patients under 65 years of age," said Edward Leigh MP, chairman of the committee of public accounts.
"It is one of the three top causes of death in our country, is the leading cause of adult disability and costs the NHS each year more than coronary heart disease."
A Vascular Programme Board with the goal of developing a stroke strategy has now been created and better quality of care and improved organisation of stroke units have been promised in response to the report.
By giving better care to stroke patients, more lives and £20 million are expected to be saved each year.