Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Health and Social Services
Today, I am publishing “Together for Health – Stroke Delivery Plan: A Delivery Plan up to 2016 for NHS Wales and its Partners”. I am also publishing a short, public facing version of the document, which sets out what the people of Wales can expect from NHS stroke care by 2016. Tackling stroke, and its consequences across Wales, is an important commitment of the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government and its five-year NHS Plan, Together for Health, where we set out our ambitious programme for better health and reduced inequalities in Wales.
The National Assembly for Wales has rightly debated stroke on a number of occasions. This reflects the significant impact stroke has on the lives of patients and their families. In publishing the Stroke Delivery Plan, I want to build on the progress we have already made in Wales.
There is wide recognition since the Royal College of Physicians’ Audit in 2006 and the subsequent Health Committee inquiries into stroke, that stroke care has improved significantly in Wales. However, our population is ageing so the number of people living with a stroke is increasing. We know we can achieve better outcomes by re-organising aspects of the care we provide and focusing on quality and patient experience. We must close the gaps within Wales and in comparison with the most successful European countries.
Local Health Boards must work with the full range of their partners to plan and deliver stroke services which meet the needs of people at risk of or affected by stroke. This Delivery Plan is, therefore, designed to empower and enable the NHS, working together with its partners, to meet the needs of people at risk of or affected by stroke, by setting out:
- the population outcomes we want and how we will measure success;
- the outcomes we expect for people as a result of their NHS stroke care;
- how we will measure NHS success and the level of performance we expect by 2016 across Wales and
- themes for action by the NHS, together with its partners, for the period up to 2016
I would like to thank everyone who responded to the public consultation and who has been involved in the development on the Stroke Delivery Plan.
The Stroke Delivery Plan sets a compelling vision for success. It challenges each organisation to plan and deliver high quality services in partnership. The Welsh Government wants to see continuous improvement integrated into everyday working. It is now time for the Local Health Boards, working effectively together with NHS Trusts, GPs, pharmacists, dentists, opticians, Local Government, the Third Sector and others, to plan and deliver stroke care services Wales can be proud of and where each person affected by stroke is measurably better off as a result of their care.