A limiting factor for thrombolysis in ischaemic stroke is delayed presentation to hospital. Prolonged A&E stay and delayed rehabilitation affects care. We evaluated the delay in presentation, A&E stay and rehabilitation delivery in 117 consecutive stroke patients. The mean presentation delay was 16.0 +/- 23.7 hours. A prior history of TIA or stroke, a reduced Glascow Coma Scale and larger strokes were associated with shorter delays to presentation. Longer delays occurred in patients living alone. The mean time spent in A&E was 11 hours, those with larger strokes spent shorter time. There were significant delays in referral to, and assessment by certain rehabilitation disciplines. Delayed presentation in stroke is a barrier to thrombolysis. Increasing public awareness may reduce this delay. In addition, prolonged A&E stay and delayed rehabilitation may adversely affect management, outcome and duration of hospital stay. Further study is required to investigate the reasons and possible solutions for such deficiencies.