What you should expect

You can expect that you will receive specialist stroke care immediately. Ashford & St Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust has a dedicated stroke nursing team which covers a service from 8am - 8pm 7 days a week.

The ambulance service will have contacted the hospital emergency department to give an estimated time of arrival so that the specialist stroke team is ready to assess and treat you as soon as you arrive at hospital.


You can expect to be seen, diagnosed, receive initial treatment and a decision about whether to admit you or discharge you home within a maximum of four hours of arriving at the emergency department. The national standard is that 95 per cent of patients should spend less than four hours in the emergency department.


A doctor can usually diagnose a stroke by the typical signs and symptoms which develop suddenly. However, you are likely to have several tests carried out during your time in the emergency department. This is part of the standard emergency department procedures. The tests that may be carried out include:

  • ROSIER - recognition of stroke in the emergency room
  • ABCD2 system
  • Brain scan
  • Thrombolysis
  • Blood tests
  • Chest X-rays and ECG
  • Ultrasound
  • Thrombolysis


Thrombolysis is a treatment for ischaemic stroke that breaks down blood clots and restores blood flow to the brain. Only some patients suspected of having a stroke are suitable for thrombolysis. All hospitals must ensure that they have sufficient staff trained to administer thrombolysis to provide the service.