The aim of the neurovascular service is to reduce the incidence of stroke in patients at highest risk, to provide rapid assessment and investigation of treatments for patients with a suspected transient ischaemic attack (TIA) and to provide an alternative to hospital admission.
To be referred to the Neurovascular Service your GP will need to complete a referral form and send it to the following address:
Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing
St James’s Hospital
Your initial appointment can take up to two hours, so please ensure you have set aside enough time to complete the assessment.
Please bring the following items with you to your appointment:
Patients are usually sent home after their appointment, but on rare occasions, the doctor may feel the patient needs to be admitted.
At the TIA Clinic, patients are seen by a member of the Stroke Service Team and a detailed recording of symptoms and past medical history will be taken. The patient may have an echocardiogram (ECG), blood tests, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, and/or heart tracing monitoring (up to 7 days as an outpatient) on the day, or at a later date.
Some patients may need to have an ultrasound scan of the main arteries in the neck which supply the brain, as these can become blocked. The scan is usually done on the same day as the TIA Clinic appointment or as soon as possible after this date. Some patients are also referred for a brain scan. After the assessment, the Stroke Service Team will review your record, provide advice on how to prevent a stroke and discuss modifiable risk factors for stroke. The team will also provide family and carers with information on local supports.
It is important to note that patients to the TIA Clinic should not drive for at least 28-days post-TIA or stroke.
The initial appointment can take up to two hours, so please ensure you have set aside enough time to complete the assessment
The Secondary Prevention Clinic is led by a clinical nurse specialist and operates from Monday to Wednesday. Patients are reviewed as soon as possible after discharge from the hospital or upon referral from a TIA clinic. Abnormal results are reviewed daily with the hospital consultant. You will be provided with discharge advice on what to do should symptoms reoccur and provided with a contact liaison for community and rehabilitation services.
Patients who have been admitted with a stroke will generally be followed up in the Neurovascular Clinic after discharge. There they will be seen by a member of the Stroke Team, where their progress is assessed, medications are reviewed and additional investigations may be arranged. Information about local supports will be provided to the patient and family.
Sometimes, where the patient’s condition allows and with the patient’s agreement, the follow-up may be done over the phone. Please have a complete list of the medications you are currently taking available at the time of review.
It is important to note that patients to the TIA or Stroke Clinic should not drive for 28 days (and sometimes longer, if specifically advised).
The treatment of patients attending the neurovascular service is specifically tailored to the individual’s clinical condition and depends on the nature of their stroke and sometimes the duration of symptoms.