About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) presents the Scottish Stroke Improvement Programme 2023 and 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 2022, measuring each hospital against Scottish stroke care standards (2016). The full report can be found on the SSCA website.

Image caption Stroke patients achieving inpatient standards (2020–2022) emergency department (ED) attendances treated within 4 hours and COVID-19 admissions

Main points

  • This year’s report unfortunately shows further deterioration against the swallow screening (68% v 73%) and stroke unit (63% v 70%) standards, whilst brain scanning, and aspirin delivery remain stable.
  • There has been an increase in the number of reported strokes in 2022 (11,257 cases) compared to 2021 (11,055 cases).
  • There has been an increase in door to needle time; 55 minutes in 2022, compared to 52 minutes in 2021.
  • 112 patients in Scotland received a thrombectomy.


The SSCA monitors the quality of care provided by the hospitals in all NHS 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. The stroke care bundle is important because achieving it is associated with a reduced risk of dying and an increased chance of getting back home. 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). NHS 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 Website.

The next release of this publication will be July 2024.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email phs.strokeaudit@phs.scot.

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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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