It’s been a while since the last update, but we’ve been making progress behind the scenes.
We now have confirmation from Vaughan Gething (the Welsh Health Minister) that “securing a sustainable thrombectomy service for Welsh patients is a priority for the Welsh Government and Health Boards in Wales”, and that “a service specification for thrombectomy is due out to consultation imminently”.
This means that the issue is being discussed and debated, but doesn’t mean that we can rest easy. Consultations can regularly stall and so we’re doing our best to keep the pressure on. This issue is very complex as the procedure is highly specialised and in NHS terms relatively new. However, recognising it as a priority is a step forward from the previous ‘not routinely funded’ situation.
Sorry it’s been a while for an update. We’ve been working closely with Vikki Howells AM and Ann Clwyd MP.
Vikki wrote to Vaughan Gething (Welsh Minister for Health) on our behalf. We have received a response, which in our opinion didn’t fully address the issues. We’ve sent a response and are awaiting an update. Vikki is hoping to raise the issue with the First Minister very soon. Thank you Vikki for all your support so far!
Both Vikki Howells (Assembly Minister for Cynon Valley) and Ann Clwyd (Member of Parliament for Cynon Valley) have pledged their support to the campaign today. We’re really grateful to both of these fantastic ladies for their prompt help and support.
Thank you for visiting our blog. This is the start of the campaign to raise awareness about the terrible inequality that exists in stroke treatment in the UK. Up to 500 people a year in Wales may die or be left profoundly disabled because of a lack of availability of a stroke treatment called endovascular thrombectomy – an x-ray guided operation where the clot causing the stroke is removed. This has to be done within 24 hours or it is too late.
Many of you visiting may have known Colin personally. Colin died suddenly at the age of just 55 from a massive basilar artery stroke. He would have been suitable for the treatment (although there was no guarantee of it’s success) but family were told that this treatment is unavailable for Welsh patients on the weekend. During the week there is an arrangement for stroke victims to be transferred to Bristol for treatment if there are beds available. There often aren’t. Colin was taken ill on Sunday morning.
Colin is not the only person to have died because of this ’postcode lottery’ and this is not a new problem. We want to change this. We want to raise awareness and campaign for equal access for patients, such as Colin, who will die or live a profoundly disabled life without treatment. We want to make a difference so that people are not failed by the system as Colin was.
Colin was the beloved husband of Ellen, father of Callum and Brogan, grandfather of Henry, brother of Kath, Mike, Des and Ruth, uncle of Hannah, Tim and Lyra. Colin was a dedicated mental health nurse caring for people with psychiatric and neurological injuries. He dealt every day with the devastating effects of stroke for Welsh people. We want to use his death to help to treat patients so that they don’t suffer in this way.