Trusts should screen all stroke patients for cognitive impairment within six weeks of diagnosis, according to the first set of quality standards to be published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

The standards, which cover stroke, dementia and venous thromboembolism, were due to be launched yesterday by health secretary Andrew Lansley.

They are designed to show what high quality care in each of the three areas should look like. Each standard is accompanied by a measurable element or indicator.

Mr Lansley has previously said the new standards would be “the basis of comparative information on quality and performance”.