The aim of this study was to examine the role of teleradiology in the management of inter-hospital transfer of neurosurgical patients, especially in terms of safety and early therapeutic interventions. Data were collected prospectively, comparing events during the inter-hospital transfer of patients from a district general hospital to a tertiary neurosurgical centre, before and after teleradiology became available. From March to December 1995, 50 referrals made without teleradiology were compared with 66 referrals after teleradiology installation. Our results showed that for patients referred with teleradiologic images, unnecessary transfers were reduced (21%), more therapeutic measures before transfer were implemented (27% vs 20%, p = 0.41), adverse events occurring during transfer were significantly reduced (8% vs 32%, p = 0.002), and transfer time was shortened (72 min vs 80 min, p = 0.38). The potential advantages of this system in facilitating safer transfers and faster management of neurosurgical emergencies therefore merit further attention.