Posted: Wed 21st Jun 2023

North Wales MS demands stroke survivors’ involvement in future Welsh health strategies

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jun 21st, 2023

North Wales Member of the Senedd (MS), Mark Isherwood, has called on the First Minister to guarantee the involvement of stroke survivors in the planning of future stroke services in Wales.

His comments came during a meeting of the Welsh Parliament, where he highlighted several concerns raised by stroke survivors.

Drawing from his recent visit to the Buckley Stroke Group alongside the Stroke Association, Mr Isherwood emphasised the expected 50 per cent increase in stroke survivors in Wales over the next two decades.

He stressed the urgency of addressing key issues affecting this growing demographic, quoting data from the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme to underline his point.

Specifically, in England, the average time was four hours and eight minutes, whereas in Wales it was six hours and five minutes, and notably, at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, it took as long as nine hours and 23 minutes.

Several concerns brought forward by stroke survivors included a lack of seamless care, difficulties in reaching GPs, inadequate information about their condition, and difficulties in accessing stroke specialists upon request.

He acknowledged that despite these issues, healthcare professionals were commended for their kindness and compassion.

Mr Isherwood pressed the First Minister, asking, “With the Stroke Programme Board planning engagement on the future of Stroke Services, how will you ensure that the voices of Stroke Survivors and Carers are heard and involved in the co-production of this work?”

In response, the First Minister praised the Stroke Association’s strong partnership with Wales.

He reaffirmed the crucial role of stroke survivors in shaping future stroke programmes and improvements, stating that their voices have always been powerfully echoed in such discussions.

He stressed the importance of using patient experiences in devising practical solutions for issues raised.

The First Minister concluded by recognising the efforts of Dr Shakeel Ahmad, the current national clinical lead for stroke services in Wales, in continuing this patient-focused approach.

The First Minister’s response underscores the Welsh government’s commitment to centring the lived experience of patients in healthcare improvements.

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