The Future of Stroke Care in Wales

Bridgend MS Carwyn Jones has made representations to the Health Minister Vaughan Gething regarding the future of stroke care in Wales. Mr Jones recently met with representatives from the Stroke Association who explained to him why as an organisation, they are calling for a new five-year national plan for stroke.

Some of the key actions that they would like to see in a new plan going forward include the reconfiguration of existing stroke units into hyperacute stroke units, improvement to the governance of stroke services, improvement to measures to prevent strokes, to ensure that patients receive fast, effective care and that there is better access to services such as physiotherapy services, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy support.

Without a new plan in place, they believe that ‘preventable strokes will continue to happen, patients will miss out on life saving treatments and stroke survivors will be left unable to rebuild their lives’. They argue that having a new plan in place will ensure that consistent action is taken across the country to improve services.

Mr Jones said “ I am all too familiar with the effects of stroke. My father had a stroke and two members of the family sadly died from a stroke. With more people surviving a stroke, it is vital that we have the services in place for survivors to access so they can rebuild their lives. With the current Plan due to come to an end this year, it is right that discussions now turn to what comes next. It is also an opportunity to review how the current Plan has worked and what can be taken forward to shape future policy. The Covid pandemic has had a significant impact on stroke survivors including on their mental health and wellbeing. Indeed, many have felt abandoned with services being re-imagined or not available. It was interesting to hear about some of the practical barriers that are still having an impact on stroke survirors.”

Mr Jones added “ During the pandemic, stroke admissions all over Europe went down by a third as people were anxious about going into hospital. If you think you are having a stroke, please still dial 999.”

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