AIM To evaluate hospital delays in thrombolytic treatment before and after organisational changes and community-based treatment rates in a previously inexperienced centre. METHODS The delays before and after organisational changes made in 2006 were compared using a prospective treatment database. In a 6-month period in 2007, a community-based search was performed for all hospitalisations for ischaemic stroke. The number of patients admitted within the 0-3 h time window and the proportion treated with tissue plasminogen activator were analysed. RESULTS The number of treatments increased fourfold from 2005 to 2007 with a significant reduction in mean door-to-needle time from 60 min to 38 min (p = 0.002). In the community-based series, 14/137 patients (10%) hospitalised with ischaemic stroke and 13/32 patients (41%) admitted in the 0-3 h window were treated. CONCLUSIONS An inexperienced stroke centre can rapidly implement the necessary logistics to deliver thrombolysis to a large proportion of patients with acute stroke with short hospital delays. Important factors are probably prenotification of a team and the initiation of thrombolytic treatment in the emergency room.