The Rhondda AM has called for improved stroke services in Wales following the death of a man who could not be given a specialist procedure as it was not available on the weekend for Welsh patients.
Husband, father and grandfather Colin Rogers from Rhondda Cynon Taf died of a basilar artery stroke after falling ill on a weekend. The arrangement for transferring patients to Bristol for an endovascular thrombectomy – which can be successful for this type of stroke - was not in place on weekends at the time.
Mr Rogers’ grieving family are now campaigning for the provision to be made available in Wales and are collecting petition signatures.
During First Minister’s Questions, Ms Wood called on the Labour Government to take steps to ensure the endovascular thrombectomy procedure that may have saved him to be made available in Wales.
She said: “Colin Rogers from Rhondda Cynon Taf died of a basilar artery stroke at the age of just 55, leaving behind a devastated family.
“Mr Rogers had the misfortune to be taken ill on a Sunday morning. Had it happened during the week, he could have been transferred to Bristol for endovascular thrombectomy, which could have saved his life. There was no such arrangement available on the weekend.
“A petition has been set up to ensure that this treatment is available to Welsh patients, which calls: 'upon the Welsh government to end the postcode lottery and act to save the lives of the Welsh people.'
“I understand that provision is being made to correct this injustice by making the procedure more widely available in Wales, but, as with many problems within the Welsh NHS, this comes down to workforce planning.
“What plans do you have to ensure that there is a 24/7 service provided for Welsh patients, which will hopefully prevent cases like that of Mr Rogers?”
In response, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee are well advanced in planning a Wales-wide service for thrombectomy here in Wales.
“It will require recruitment. It will require training. In the meantime, we are commissioning services from across our border where scarce spare capacity exists.
“But the answer, not in the long term but as soon as we can do it, is to create that all-Wales service with the people that we will need and with the coverage that will be required.”
If you agree with Leanne, please click this link to get involved with Plaid Cymru.