Transient ischaemic attack (TIA)

A transient ischaemic attack (TIA), or 'mini stroke', is similar to a stroke, usually lasting less than one hour. TIAs do not cause permanent damage but can be a warning sign that you may be at risk of a stroke.

Patients experiencing TIA symptoms should have a rapid assessment in a TIA clinic. This has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of going on to have a stroke. Please seek urgent medical advice to obtain a referral.

If you are experiencing ongoing symptoms and are worried about a stroke, you should call 999.

TIA clinics run daily (Monday to Friday) at Barnet Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital to provide rapid assessment and treatment. We aim to see all patients within 24 hours of referral. Some patients who present over the weekend or on bank holidays and are deemed to be high risk (ABCD2 score = 4 or more) may be seen at University College London Hospitals.

What happens in clinic?

If you are referred to one of our TIA clinics, you'll be assessed by a doctor and may be sent for tests, if appropriate. The tests may include a CT scan, MRI, an ultrasound of the neck arteries, an ECG and blood tests. We provide a one-stop clinic and aim to carry out all tests on the same day. Please be aware that this may mean you are with us for several hours.

Information for health professionals

If you wish to refer a patient to one of our TIA clinics, please use our referral form.