About the programme

Stroke Clot Retrieval (SCR) is the removal of a blood clot blocking a major brain artery using an endovascular technique to restore blood flow and avoid permanent brain damage. SCR is recommended as the standard of care in international stroke guidelines and has substantial benefits in terms of improved outcomes following stroke.

Treatment is time sensitive and requires a highly coordinated approach across regional and provider hospitals for efficient diagnoses, transport and treatment at one of the three current SCR centres at Auckland, Capital & Coast and Canterbury hospitals.

In 2017 a Stroke Clot Retrieval Action Plan was developed which required a National Service Improvement Programme approach. The Action Plan’s objectives are to ensure that SCR candidates receive high quality care and equitable services.

The implementation of the Action Plan is led by clinical Co-Directors – Dr Stefan Brew and Prof Anna Ranta with support from a small project team.  Overall governance is provided by an inter-disciplinary and inter-sectorial Stroke Clot Retrieval Leadership group.

In addition to the Leadership Group several sub-groups including a consumer panel are operating to progress the five workstreams of:

  1. Patient-centred, culturally appropriate, high quality and safe care
  2. Reduce transfer delays
  3. Improve radiology access, capacity and capability
  4. Enable implementation of telestroke services, and
  5. Enable safe, sustainable SCR services.

Stroke Clot Retrieval leadership group

SCR leadership group has been established to:

  • oversee and support implementation of identified improvement priorities within their sector, region or organisation
  • progress actions identified in the SCR Action Plan
  • champion nationally consistent implementation of SCR services in their region or organisation
  • provide broad perspectives, specialist knowledge and expertise to the leadership group meetings and subsequent working groups
  • agree on methods of collecting, measuring and assessing desired outcomes.

Members of the Leadership Group are not involved to specifically advocate for either their hospital or their specific professional group and are expected to take a national viewpoint with the aim to achieve the best and most equitable health outcomes for New Zealanders with acute stroke across Aotearoa.