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Kirsty Williams calls on First Minister to ensure Wales has a comprehensive stroke strategy

May 2, 2012 12:50 PM

In the Senedd this afternoon, Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, challenged the First Minister over his Government's record on stroke treatment in Wales.

The first recommendation of the Assembly's Health, Wellbeing and Local Government Committee's report, which was published over two years ago, was for the Welsh Government to develop a stroke strategy. Since then, the Welsh Labour Government has ignored these calls, refusing to make steps towards a comprehensive stroke strategy.

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, commented:

"A report published by the Stroke Association states that around 11,000 people in Wales suffer from a stroke each year. Despite this, the Welsh Labour Government has allowed Wales to continue to be the only part of the UK that does not have a dedicated, comprehensive stroke strategy.

"It is clear for all to see that Wales desperately needs an improved stroke service. It has been two years now since the Health, Wellbeing and Local Government Committee published its own report in to stroke services in Wales which strongly recommended that Wales develops a stroke strategy. So why on earth has the Welsh Labour Government wilfully decided not to heed this recommendation?

"I was disappointed with the First Minister's response today. He seems content for the current status quo to continue, despite calls from charities, politicians and the public saying vast improvement is needed. The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that everyone has the right to make the best recovery possible after a stroke which is why we believe developing a comprehensive stroke strategy is so important.

"It is time the First Minister drops his Welsh Labour Government's outdated 'one size fits all' approach in our NHS and instead implements a tailored social care system that would allow individuals to choose their own care package."