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Stroke care in Wales condemned

The Welsh health minister has demanded to see improvements in the treatment of stroke patients.

Edwina Hart said care for people who have suffered strokes is not being made a priority by health services, and described the situation as "unacceptable".

The Welsh Assembly Government made plans in March 2006 to improve stroke services, and her comments come after a report on said stroke care in the UK is some of the worst in Europe.

Mrs Hart said: "Although stroke services are improving in some areas, this improvement is currently not consistent across Wales, and is not delivering the appropriate care for all stroke patients.

"This is unacceptable. We have issued guidance to the health service, but it is clear that it has not been given the necessary priority and that must change."

The minister has now set out a list of improvements to be made by March 2008.

These include an assessment of the current service provision to be made by local health boards and social services, and for social services to work with local authorities to make sure housing adaptations for stroke patients are made as quickly as possible.

Mrs Hart added she will issue a formal programme of work for health services later this year.

Welsh Assembly Government

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