This study examines the geographical access to imaging facilities for suspected stroke patients in Scotland. A survey of Scottish clinical directors of radiology was initially undertaken to determine the current and future provision of brain imaging for the diagnosis of stroke. We analysed geographical and digital population data with geographical information systems software to determine access to brain imaging services for stroke patients during ‘normal’ working hours and ‘out-of-hours’. The findings suggest that, in general, most departments are able to deliver scanning for stroke as set within current guidelines, at least in normal working hours. However, radiological departments are generally operating at full capacity, and there is restricted availability of scanning services for stroke in certain regions during weekend periods. It is vital that policy makers consider these findings when reviewing the guidelines for recommending scanning for stroke. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.