Welsh Government
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Lowering stroke rates in Wales

A new plan to ensure stroke rates in Wales are among the lowest in Europe by 2016 has been published for public consultation by the Welsh Government.

Together Against Stroke aims to build on what has already been achieved in recent years, helping to deliver wider ambitions to improve services for those at risk of, or who have, a stroke over the next few years.

The plan comes as new figures show how stroke care has already improved across Wales over the past three years, and sees the Government work with the NHS and other partners on the following areas:

  • preventing stroke – including indentifying those at risk
  • detecting stroke quickly and delivering fast, effective quality care – including developing specialised stroke centres where all patients will receive treatment within four hours
  • supporting living with stroke – including providing appropriate follow-up care and ongoing support and involving stroke carers in the development of services
  • supporting stroke research to ensure better treatment in the future and speed up the introduction of known effective new treatments and technologies.

IT and communication links which give clinical staff fast, safe and secure access to the relevant information to help patients will also be strengthened, while annual data will be published showing progress across Wales.

Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said:

“Treating stroke remains a top priority for the Welsh Government. Wales has already made encouraging improvements to its stroke services, but by working together to deliver the actions set out in Together Against Stroke, we can do even better.

“We must work harder to prevent strokes in the first place and focus on achieving more prompt diagnosis, along with the best possible treatment to deliver survival rates among the best in Europe.

“Individuals must also play their part in looking after their own health.  Lifestyle choices have a significant impact on stroke rates and it is vital we bring down levels of obesity, smoking, drug and alcohol use.

“These proposals are a step towards the commitment in our five year vision for the NHS in Wales, Together for Health, that within 12 months we will issue delivery plans for other major services, specifying the next steps in service improvement.

“Where appropriate, stroke services will be developed and reorganised in order to give the best possible outcomes for patients.  Providing follow-up care and ongoing support locally will be central to the plan, as will involving stroke carers in future services.”