Stroke services in Wales are continuing to improve as a new report published on 29 January 2016 shows there are more than a thousand fewer deaths from stroke a year compared to a decade ago.
Ana Palazon, director of the Stroke Association in Wales, said:
“There are some very encouraging findings in this report. The fall in the number of people dying from stroke is particularly welcome, but we also need to remember that this means that many more people will be living with the complex disabilities that stroke can cause. It is vital therefore to invest in long-term support and specialist rehabilitation therapies to help stroke survivors manage their condition and regain as much independence as possible.
“We are really pleased that the impact of campaigns to raise awareness of the causes and symptoms of stroke has been recognised, but there is always more we can do. Around half of all strokes are caused by high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation (a type of irregular heartbeat). Identifying and treating people with these conditions could prevent hundreds of strokes every year, so there is a clear case for continuing and increasing this kind of public awareness work. GPs and community pharmacies have a very clear role to play here and the Stroke Association is campaigning to get improved detection and treatment of AF to prevent strokes.
“We welcome the funding investment that the Health Minister has made, particularly in community rehabilitation, but there are still many areas that require more funding and better co-ordination. For example, We know from the people who use our services that there are problems in many areas with six month assessments so we welcome the report’s recognition of the need for improvement in this vital aspect of stroke recovery.”