The Welsh Assembly is the devolved Government for Wales, which is separate from the UK Government and has decision making powers in 20 different areas including health. Following a referendum in 2011 the Welsh Assembly gained powers to pass primary legislation which allowed them to pass laws without the consent of the UK government. As a result the Welsh Assembly is now solely responsible for Health and AF policy in Wales.
It is for this reason the AF Association frequently engages with the relevant Welsh Assembly ministers, assembly members and committees to ensure that AF is at heart of the policy agenda and that the needs of patients and clinicians are fully taken into account.
This page shows the work that we have been doing in Wales:
Meeting to discuss care services for patients with AF at risk of stroke
On 4th March 2014, AM, Joyce Watson, Chair of the Cross-Party Group on stroke met with fellow policy makers, NHS managers, leading clinicians, AF Association and Stroke Association representatives to examine the challenges to improving care for people in Wales with AF. The meeting was organised and funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer Alliance.
AF Association Deputy CEO Jo Jerrome said: "A stroke can happen in an instant but the effects can last a lifetime. People with atrial fibrillation have a higher risk of stroke and the meeting was important in bringing together the local healthcare community to ensure there is a focus on the increased risk of stroke with atrial fibrillation.
"To reduce the number of strokes occurring, we need better detection of atrial fibrillation and prevention of these types of stroke through appropriate management."
NHS Wales: The listening organisation
A new white paper from 1000 Lives Plus explains how listening to patients and understanding what it feels like to experience care is a key way for NHS Wales can improve its services.
The Listening Organisation, which was officially launched at the 1000 Lives Plus National Learning Event on 11 June 2013 by David Sissling, Chief Executive of NHS Wales will support organisations as they seek to ensure patient views are listened to and acted on, in order to improve services.
The Welsh Government has placed improving patient and user experience at the heart of its plans for NHS Wales. There is a commitment that patients will be listened to and that feedback on patient and user experience will be obtained, published and acted upon by NHS Wales health boards and trusts.
There is a growing emphasis on “co-production”, the partnership between providers and the public and the involvement of patients and citizens in the design and delivery of services. The recent proposed changes to NHS Wales offer a prime example of how reengineering healthcare systems can be a collaborative effort between the people of Wales and the NHS.
Download 'The Listening Oranisation' white paper here
The National Assembly for Wales Health and Social Care Committee launch report on its inquiry into 'Stroke Risk Reduction'
The AFA recently appeared before the Welsh Health and Social Care Committee and made the case for AF treatment to be at the heart of stroke prevention. We highlighted that having AF increases the likelihood of having a stroke five times and in order to prevent this, a greater emphasis on diagnostic methods such as opportunistic pulse checks is required
Following this the Health and Social Care Committee made the following recommendations;
- That a greater focus be placed on public awareness campaigns
- Pulse checks were recommended as standard to patients who are exhibiting stroke risk factors
- The welsh government should find new ways in order to ensure that GPs are complying with NICE guidance on the treatment of AF and that patients are provided with the information to make an informed choice.
If you would like to read the report in full then you can do so here.
The National Assembly for Wales Health and Social Care Committee takes evidence from AFA
AFA has been working hard to ensure that your voice is heard across the UK Governments. As part of this, we were called to provide evidence to the Welsh Assembly’s inquiry into Stroke Risk Reduction on 22 September. Jo Jerrome, Assistant Director at the AFA, told the Parliamentary Committee about the incidence of AF and the impact that a diagnosis of AF has on patients. Ms Jerrome also highlighted many of the opportunistic screening programmes that take place across Wales as well as promoting the importance of an early diagnosis and successful treatment. We’re also pleased to report that since this evidence session, the issue has been raised in the Assembly a number of times, most recently at Health Questions where the Labour Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths AM stated that she would look into the possibility of introducing pulse checks for the over 50s.
The National Assembly for Wales Health and Social Care Committee, are holding an inquiry into ‘Stroke Risk Reduction’
Read the evidence submitted and follow the open meetings.