Nursing home placement after stroke indicates a poor outcome but numbers placed vary between hospitals. The aim of this study is to determine whether between-hospital variations in new nursing home placements post-stroke are reliant solely on case-mix differences or whether service heterogeneity plays a role. A prospective, multi-center cohort study of acute stroke patients admitted to eight National Health Service acute hospitals within the Anglia Stroke and Heart Clinical Network between 2009 and 2011 was conducted. We modeled the association between hospitals (as a fixed-effect) and rates of new discharges to nursing homes using multiple logistic regression, adjusting for important patient risk factors. Descriptive and graphical data analyses were undertaken to explore the role of hospital characteristics. Of 1335 stroke admissions, 135 (10%) were discharged to a nursing home but rates varied considerably from 6% to 19% between hospitals. The hospital with the highest adjusted odds ratio of nursing home discharges (OR 4.26; 95% CI 1.69 to 10.73), was the only hospital that did not provide rehabilitation beds in the stroke unit. Increasing hospital size appeared to be related to an increased odds of nursing home placement, although attenuated by the number of hospital stroke admissions. Our results highlight the potential influence of hospital characteristics on this important outcome, independently of patient-level factors.