North Wales MS Mark Isherwood yesterday backed a motion in the Senedd calling for a biennial Act FAST campaign in Wales to ensure that everyone knows to call 999 at the first sign of a stroke.
Stroke is the fifth single leading cause of death in Wales and the single largest cause of complex disability. A delay in getting treatment for stroke kills brain cells and can sadly prove to be fatal.
The motion put forward in yesterday’s short debate on ‘Stroke awareness and the FAST/NESA campaign’ proposed that the Act FAST campaign is run every two years in Wales.
Supporting the motion, Mr Isherwood said:
“By coincidence, I actually led a Debate here almost exactly a year ago on Stroke Services, when I stated: 'The Stroke Association has also called for a renewed FAST campaign - Face, Arms, Speech, Time - by Public Health Wales, to improve awareness of stroke symptoms and urge those experiencing these to call 999 as soon as possible’, where ‘Acting FAST gives the person having a stroke the best chance of survival and recovery', adding that ‘the FAST campaign was last run in Wales in 2018, but was run in both England and Northern Ireland in 2021’, and analysis of the campaign in England found that it was highly cost effective.
“In June, I visited Buckley Stroke Group with the Stroke Association to learn about their experience of stroke, and subsequently raised here the issues they had raised with me. Having joined the Cross-Party Group on Stroke meeting earlier this month which launched the campaign for Welsh Government and Public Health Wales to commit to running a regular FAST campaign, I'm delighted to support this motion today.”
The Act FAST campaign urges people to remember the acronym F.A.S.T. when spotting potential stroke symptoms:
- Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
- Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
- Speech – is their speech slurred?
- Time – even if you’re not sure, call 999.