MORE than 1,000 people across Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire have signed a petition for the local health board to 'adequately fund stroke services'.

The Stroke Association visited Glangwili Hospital on May 2 to hand in the petition to Hywel Dda University Health Board.

It comes as concerns were raised about the funding for the association’s Life After Stroke Service, which has supported stroke survivors in the three counties for more than a decade.

The service provides a lifeline for people after leaving hospital, helping stroke survivors and their loved ones set their own goals for recovery, manage their condition and become more independent.

The association provided specialised person-centred support to more than 250 new stroke survivors and their carers in 2022, which the association says helps to reduce hospital readmissions, supports mental health needs and independence.

One stroke survivor who attended the petition hand-in was Steve Marsh.

The 63-year-old from Llanelli had a stroke on October 2, 2020, and was in hospital for five weeks, only able to have one visit from family due to the covid pandemic and restrictions.

“My stroke co-ordinator was the first person who came and spoke to me and actually told me what happened post stroke," he said.

"I don’t know where I would be without the Life after Stroke Service and the men’s peer support group.

“The help I received from the Stroke Association has saved my life. I don’t know what I would have done without my support co-ordinator Angela. She helped me get back on track and introduced me to the men’s group.

“If the service is not adequately funded, I fear for those stroke survivors who will miss out on the much-needed support that helped me so much in my recovery.”

Katie Chappelle, associate director for Wales, said: “The Stroke Association would like to thank everyone who signed and showed their support for the petition.

"We are still concerned that the upcoming tender for life after stroke services in Hywel Dda will not be adequately funded to provide a quality service for stroke survivors across Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire.

“This service has been underfunded by the health board for many years and has, until recently, been bolstered by additional money from Carmarthenshire Local Authority, which will now be used to fund community-based prevention services.

“In a recent letter to a Member of the Senedd, the health board outlined that the withdrawal of funding from Carmarthenshire Local Authority will result in ‘minimal effect’ to the life after stroke service delivery funded by Hywel Dda Health Board.

"However, this will in fact have a huge impact on the hundreds of people in the area who rely on our support after they leave hospital each year.”

“The stroke community has shown their support for this issue and have already been emailing the Hywel Dda health board to give support to the Stroke Association asks.

"More than 1,000 people have signed a petition, urging the health board to reconsider the funding level of the upcoming tender, which we delivered to the health board earlier this week.”