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Dewi Sant1 (or St David), the Patron Saint of Wales, lived a simple life of prayer, reading, writing, teaching and vegetarianism and for some reason adopted the leek (Allium ampeloprasum) as his symbol. This became the symbol of Wales, an independent nation until the death of Llywelyn ein Llyw Olaf (Llywelyn the Great) in 1282 when Wales became a principality of England, although Owain Glyndwr was head of a Welsh Parliament in the unstable, rebellious times of the early 15th century.
It now becomes understandable why the creation of the National Assembly for Wales in 1999 heralded a new era, with legislative powers for health, social services, education and local government that are different from the rest of the UK. It has been good. There are different health issues to be dealt with in Wales, with ready access to assembly members and ministers who have shown a willingness to listen and to champion issues raised, for example, by the cross party group for neurosciences. This spirit of collaboration emerged following the Welsh Assembly Government's recent review of the neurosciences in Wales (Steers report). The implementation of its recommendations is led by clinicians and the first change is that …
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