Frequently Asked Questions


How does the VST service work?


The VST service is unique, and the largest of its kind in Australia for stroke. VST is a virtual service which links participating hospitals to a network of stroke consultants who can provide treatment advice about patients with acute stroke symptoms. Clinicians at participating VST hospitals call a 1300 number to directly access a stroke consultant who can then proceed with an audio-visual consultation, review brain imaging and provide treatment advice. Click here to see an infographic about how VST works.

What hours does VST operate?


The service is available 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.

Can I call VST for an inpatient with acute stroke symptoms?


Yes. Patients with symptoms of acute stroke at a VST participating site can be referred to VST by calling the 1300 number located on the front of the teledoc situated in the Emergency Department.

Can I call VST if my health service is not a VST site?


We suggest you call 000 to arrange transfer of the patient to the nearest stroke centre as access to brain imaging is required to facilitate diagnosis.

What is the recommended imaging protocol for VST patients?


It is recommended that all VST patients have CT Brain (CTB), CT Angiography (CTA) and CT Perfusion (CTP) imaging performed. For a copy of our Radiographers Guide for VST Patients please click here.

Are VST sites obligated to use the service?


The aim of the VST service is to enhance a health services’ stroke service and not replace what is being currently offered locally. Hospitals are responsible for determining when and how the telemedicine service is utilised.

How can my health service become a VST site?


Please contact us for information about becoming a VST site.

Are the stroke consultants providing the advice qualified and credentialed?


All the stroke consultants on the VST roster hold specialist registration through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Each stroke consultant’s qualifications and experience are carefully reviewed by Ambulance Victoria’s credentialing committee through an initial credentialing process and an annual re-credentialing process. This process complies with the Victorian Department of Health’s Credentialing and defining the scope of clinical practice for medical practitioners policy handbook. All of the stroke consultants on the VST roster hold appointments at major metropolitan hospitals.

How do I become a VST stroke consultant?


We encourage neurologists and stroke specialists who would like to join the VST service as a stroke consultant to contact us with an expression of interest. Please note that when a vacancy becomes available you will be invited to participate in Ambulance Victoria’s recruitment process.