Each year around 7,400 people will have a stroke in Wales. The Stroke Annual Report, published today, shows that the number of people recovering from a stroke continues to improve across Wales.
Over the last 10 years, survival rates following a stroke for people aged 74 and under have improved by 5.7% - from 87% in 2006-07 to 92.7% in 2015-16. For people aged 75 and over the rate has improved by 7.3% - from 71.5% in 2006-07 to 78.8% in 2015-16.
The number of people dying from strokes is also reducing. In Wales, deaths from strokes have fallen by 623 (22%) since 2010, from 2,795 to 2,172 in 2015.
Stroke services in Wales are overseen by a NHS Wales-led Stroke Implementation Group (SIG) which includes representation from the Stroke Association, GPC Wales, the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Public Health Wales, health boards, social services and the Welsh Government.
The last 12 months have seen continuing progress in improving the services for people who have had a stroke. There are excellent examples of services improving throughout Wales whilst dealing with an increasing and more complex demand for the services.
The service needs to continue to undergo transformational change if it is to cope with both the increased number of patients, and their complex needs. Service reconfiguration at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Cwm Taf University Health Boards over the last 12 months have resulted in improved performance against the Royal College of Physicians (RCP): Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme’s (SSNAP).
Since 2015-16, Welsh Government has allocated £1 million annually for the delivery of the priorities identified by the group.
Welcoming the report, Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said:
“The fact more people are surviving strokes in Wales is positive news.
“The improvements made over the last 10 years is testament to the good, collaborative work taking place across the NHS, through our Stroke Implementation Group, to not only treat people who’ve suffered from a stroke, but also to support them with their rehabilitation.
“We want anyone who’s suffered a stroke to be able to access the best possible care, regardless of where they live. The progress we’ve made would not have been possible without the skilled and committed teams we have throughout the NHS - in our GP surgeries, ambulance service, NHS hospitals, community teams and the voluntary sector.
“We know a number of all strokes could be avoided if people adopted healthier lifestyles and I would encourage everyone to make the right life choices. We want to see the numbers of people having a stroke continue to fall and the public have an important role to play in achieving this.”