Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, writes…
Shocking figures published today show that seven out of twenty of the worst performing UK hospitals for stroke care are in Wales.
Stroke is the third single largest cause of death in the UK, accounting for around one in ten deaths. It is also the largest cause of complex disability in the UK, with half of all stroke survivors affected. Correct and early treatment of stroke makes a huge difference to patient outcomes.
Around 11,000 people in Wales suffer from a stroke each year. The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that everyone has the right to make the best recovery possible after a stroke.
As of today, the public can now access recent data on the management, diagnosis and treatment of stroke at their local hospital. These figures clearly show that stroke care in Wales is not at an acceptable standard.
The data has been provided by the Royal College of Physicians, and the results for each hospital are presented in letters A to E representing performance. For October to December 2013 all but one Welsh hospital that had available data was given an 'E' - which is the lowest rating.
This finding is hugely disappointing. It is clear that Wales is behind the rest of the UK for stroke treatment.
It's 18 months since the Welsh Labour Government published its national stroke delivery plan, but Welsh patients are still not getting the treatment they need and deserve.