Rationale, aims and objectives: (1) To describe current practice in the establishment and running of transient ischaemic attack (TIA) clinics in the UK; (2) to identify whether TIA targets are met; (3) to inform future TIA service development.
Methods: A survey distributed to the members of the British Association of Stroke Physicians (BASP).
Results: Forty-one per cent of full BASP members responded to the survey. TIA clinics were being run by 77% of respondents. Of the remainder 75% had plans to do so. Dedicated consultant time for stroke predominated among those involved in clinics (87% vs. 54%). The median time for clinics operation was 36 months. The median time from TIA to appointment was 2 weeks, exceeding national targets. Sixty-four per cent of clinics were run weekly and 31% more than once a week. Forty-six per cent stated they ran a one-stop clinic service yet only 10% said there were no later follow-up visits. A patient returning for completion of investigations was the most common reason for this (60%). Waits for investigations were reported - 53% indicated a wait for carotid Doppler scanning and 41% indicated this wait was in excess of 1 week.
Conclusion: Key areas of concern arising from this survey were that time from TIA to clinic appointment remained outside the national target and there were delays for key investigations. Current service models are inadequate to meet current TIA targets and exploration of alternative service models is required.