Stroke is Australia's second single greatest killer with 53 000 new events each year at a rate of 1 every 10 min. Stroke services should be organized to enable people to access proven therapies, such as stroke unit care and thrombolysis, to reduce the impact of stroke. Timely, efficient and coordinated care from ambulance services, emergency services and stroke services will maximize recovery and prevent costly complications and subsequent strokes. Efficient management of patients with transient ischaemic attack can produce significant reductions in subsequent stroke events and risk stratification using the ABCD2 tool can aid management decisions. Evidence for acute stroke care continues to evolve and it is crucial that health professionals are aware of, and implement, best practice clinical guidelines for stroke care.