Our neurovascular service will confirm if you’ve had a transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

Transient ischaemic attacks (TIA) are sometimes called a ‘mini strokes’. They’re caused when a blood vessel in the brain is temporarily blocked, usually by a blood clot.

The symptoms of a TIA are like those of a stroke. But with a TIA these will get better very quickly, usually within several minutes (and certainly within 24 hours). If your symptoms have lasted longer than 24 hours, you may have had a stroke and not a TIA.

A TIA is a sign that you are at risk of having a stroke soon. Around half of strokes that follow a TIA happen within the first couple of days after the attack. These strokes can be prevented if the cause is investigated and treated quickly.

It's important you have an appointment at the neurovascular clinic as soon as possible.

Do not drive until you've seen a stroke specialist who will tell you when it is safe to do so.

Symptoms of a stroke

If at any time before your appointment you experience a new symptoms, it is a medical emergency. Dial 999 immediately. Do not wait for your appointment.

A person might be having a stroke if:

  • the face has dropped on one side or they cannot smile
  • an arm is numb or they’re unable to raise their arms and keep them in the air
  • speech is slurred or garbled, or they are having problems understanding what you're saying

Symptoms of a stroke can be remembered using the FAST acronym: face, arm, speech, time.

Health information

NHS website information on transient ischaemic attack.

NHS website information on stroke.

Stroke Association provides information and support to people who have suffered a stroke.

Our consultants

Paul Holmes

Contact us

General enquiries, phone: 020 7188 8883

Outpatient appointments, phone: 020 7188 7188, extension 54079

Stroke service, phone: 020 7188 2515

Email: [email protected]  

Address: outpatient centre, Gassiot House, St Thomas' Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7EH

We're open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Our neurovascular clinic takes place on Monday afternoon and Thursday morning, excluding bank holidays.

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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