About this release

The Scottish Stroke Improvement Programme 2020 Annual National Report includes data from the Scottish Stroke Care Audit (SSCA). This describes the quality of stroke care in each acute hospital, grouped by NHS Board, during 2019, measuring each hospital against Scottish Stroke Care Standards (2016). The full report can be found at the Scottish Stroke Care Audit website (external website).

Main points

  • 9,751 stroke patients were admitted to Scottish hospitals in 2019.
  • Stroke Care Bundle performance was 64% across Scotland, an improvement on the 2018 performance of 59%. Bundle performance is measured for the first time incorporating the new 12-hour brain imaging standard. The Stroke Care Bundle is important because achieving it is associated with a reduced risk of dying and an increased risk of getting back home. It remains short of the 80% standard.
  • The total number of patients receiving thrombolysis across Scotland in 2019 was 980 (10.1% of all stroke admissions) which is similar to previous years (1037 (10.7%) in 2018). However, there are consistently large variations in the proportion of stroke patients treated between NHS Boards.
  • In 2018 the average door to needle time across Scotland was 55.7 minutes, in 2019 the average door to needle time had reduced to 52.7 minutes.


The SSCA monitors the quality of care provided by the hospitals in all Health Boards by collating data collected by the stroke Managed Clinical Networks (MCNs). Appropriate care is measured using the stroke care bundle, which comprises four key components: admission to a stroke unit, swallow screen, brain scan and aspirin. Not all patients are eligible for all four components. These data are used by the Scottish Government to monitor progress against the Scottish Stroke Care Standards (2016) and the Scottish Stroke Improvement Plan (2014). Health Boards are expected to identify aspects of their stroke services which do not meet the Scottish Standards and to work with their stroke MCNs to improve their standards of care locally.

Further information

For more information on the Scottish Stroke Improvement Programme see the Scottish Stroke Care Audit.

The next release of this publication will be June 2021

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Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 21 March 2024
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