The Stroke Association's Stroke recoveries at risk report is based on the responses of almost 2,000 people affected by stroke, including 130 in Wales, making it the largest sample of the stroke community since COVID-19 took hold.
This is a pivotal time for stroke services in Wales. The current Stroke Delivery Plan expires in 2021. The key recommendation from the report is that the Welsh Government should commit to replacing the Plan with a new national plan for stroke, which addresses not only the challenges created by the pandemic, but also the need to improve services for all those affected by stroke throughout Wales.
The new plan should prioritise developing hyperacute stroke units, setting standards for rehabilitation and improving access to preventative services.
Additional recommendations from the report include:
As an immediate priority, all stroke rehabilitation (face-to-face where safe) should meet national clinical guideline levels, to address the individual needs of stroke survivors and maximise their potential for recovery.
Stroke teams should follow up with all stroke survivors who had a stroke this year to review and address their recovery needs.
Welsh Government, health boards and local authorities should prioritise increasing the provision of, and access to, mental health services.
Local authorities must provide adequate support to carers.
The Welsh Government should commit to investing in Act FAST public health messaging.
To discuss the report findings further, please contact Matt O'Grady, Public Affairs Officer (Wales).
Read our Wales report:
Peter, 60 from Risca, had a stroke in 2017. He received six weeks of mental health therapy following his stroke, but says he was 'dropped' by the system and has been in a deep depression ever since. Like many others, Peter has particularly struggled with his mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read Peter's story