The Acute Stroke Unit at University Hospital Crosshouse has been awarded the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh’s William Cullen Prize.

Staff from the Unit were awarded a copy of one of Dr Cullen’s letters at the NHS Ayrshire & Arran ‘Ayrshire Achieves’ Annual Awards on Thursday 29 June.

The Acute Stroke Unit was opened in November and is making a positive difference to the long-term outlook for patients. In Ayrshire more than 1,000 people experience a stroke or mini stroke every year.

In the past patients were often taken to Glasgow for thrombolysis treatment.  Now, patients presenting with a suspected stroke can receive the first 48 to 72 hours of their care, including thrombolysis, at University Hospital Crosshouse.

Prof Andrew Collier, College Membership Secretary and Regional Advisor, who attended the ceremony, said:

“The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh has Members and Fellows all over the world, but this prize particularly recognises excellence in service innovation at a local level.

“This new unit means patients can be seen quickly and locally. Some patients are able to be discharged home the same day, with secondary prevention in place to reduce the risk of stroke.”

John Burns, Chief Executive, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, said:

“We are pleased to recognise the work of the team of the Acute Stroke Unit at University Hospital Crosshouse.

“The key to treating stroke is speed: the quicker we can start treatment, the better the outcome for patients.  So if we can start treatment within four and a half hours of the onset of symptoms, the patient has a better chance of making a full recovery.

“The Acute Stroke Unit is fully equipped with state of the art equipment, including a telemedicine system which allows the medical and nursing team to communicate with an acute stroke consultant 24 hours a day.

“A team approach is key to the success of the unit and there is excellent support from our team here in NHS Ayrshire & Arran and from our colleagues in NHS Lanarkshire. The unit is a fantastic example of working together to achieve the healthiest life possible for everyone in Ayrshire and Arran.”


  1. The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (“the College”) is an independent standard-setting body and professional membership organisation. The College’s aim is to improve and maintain the quality of patient care. The College helps qualified doctors to pursue their careers in specialist (internal) medicine through medical examinations, education and training. It also provides resources and information to support and facilitate professional development for physicians throughout their careers.
  2. The William Cullen Prize was created in 2016 to recognise excellence in teaching or service innovation at a regional level.
  3. William Cullen (1710-1790) was the most influential medical lecturer of his generation, and drew thousands of students to the Edinburgh Medical School. As the pre-eminent Scottish medical figure of his day, Cullen’s opinion was in high demand and people wrote to him from around the world requesting his advice on treatments. An archive of his private consultation letters can be found at

Contact: Lisa Rooke, / 07717895628