Endovascular Clot Retrieval (ECR) project to improve stroke care

Initiative Type
Service Improvement
10 January 2018
Last updated
17 August 2020


The project will incorporate extensive clinical input from Queensland Ambulance Services, Emergency Departments, interventional neuroradiology, stroke unit teams, Hospital and Health Service (HHS) Executives (patient flow, bed numbers, cross HHS flow issues), health purchasing, health technology assessment, radiology and others as identified. It will systematically collect the data required to effectively plan and monitor service effectiveness and efficiency.

The next phase of the project will pull together the existing and future ECR sites and aim to create low variability in eligibility, access and delivery of ECR. This phase is scheduled to end in December 2020.

Key dates
Dec 2016
Dec 2020
Implementation sites
All Queensland Public Hospitals


The aim of the Endovascular Clot Retrieval project is to scope an integrated plan for development of systematic access to Endovascular Clot retrieval (Mechanical Thrombectomy) in Queensland.


  • Improve overall access to dedicated stroke units and stroke unit care across Queensland.
  • Improve the quality, safety, and effectiveness of stroke care in Queensland.


In 2015, five landmark studies were published showing Endovascular Clot Retrieval (ECR) to be highly successful with large vessel occlusions – the Statewide Stroke Clinical Network acknowledged this evidence and is currently funding a project which is based on providing time critical patient assessment and a system to identify suitable candidates for clot retrieval therapy and rapid transport to a facility that has an Interventional Neuro radiologist (of which there are only 3 sites in Qld).

Solutions Implemented

The next stage of the ECR project will also work towards Statewide referral pathways to access ECR across the four sites, Statewide clinical guidelines for stroke care and a plan for statewide coordination of ECR services.



Evaluation and Results

Notable achievements of the ECR project to date include commencement of ECR services, statewide access to advanced neuro-imaging, system and quality improvements utilising data collected and collated into the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry as well as development of standardised stroke unit care via funding mechanisms and incentive payments.
Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH), Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) and Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH) now have established ECR services with 271 cases performed in FY 2018/2019.  Townsville Hospital is also working towards ECR capability with view to perform their first procedures in the first quarter of 2020.


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Key contact

Greg Cadigan
Network Coordinator
Healthcare Improvement Unit
(07) 3328 9191

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