Definition of a stroke unit

National guidelines for stroke care Support for governance and management 2020 page 27


  • A stroke unit is a unit in a hospital that solely or predominantly cares for people who have had a stroke.
  • A stroke unit has a multidisciplinary team with special expertise in stroke care. Examples of securing the competence are recurrent training programs Stroke competence certificate.
  • The team includes a doctor, nurse, assistant nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, counselor and speech therapist and has access to a dietician and a psychologist, preferably with a neuropsychological focus.
  • Regular team meetings are part of the working method.
  • Care programs to identify and remedy common complications are used.
  • Access to medical equipment for, for example, long-term recording of heart rhythm.
    • Immediate mobilization and early rehabilitation is offered.
  • Information and education for patients and relatives is offered, as well as planned and structured discharge when it is time to be discharged from the hospital.
  • Early assisted discharge with a multidisciplinary stroke team attached to the stroke unit with rehabilitation in the home environment is recommended for people with mild to moderate stroke.
  • Care in a stroke unit should be offered to people with suspected or confirmed stroke as it provides increased opportunity for early diagnosis and early care, which reduces the risk of complications, disability or death.