PERFORMANCE: Heatherwood and Wexham Park Foundation Trust has failed persistently to meet one of its main performance targets on stroke care.

The proportion of patients being admitted to a stroke unit within four hours stood at 67 per cent in October, up from 53 per cent in September but worse than August’s performance of 74 per cent.

All three months were significantly below the 95 per cent target.

November board papers said: “The [trust’s] stroke consultant has discussed this with peers at, other local trusts, and there is a consensus that there are a number of valid reasons why this target cannot be met.

“For those people easily diagnosed as ‘stroke’, it is a reasonably easy target to achieve, however the difficulty arrives in those in whom stroke is not an obvious diagnosis, where it is relatively hard to diagnose in acute circumstances and even often only reliably diagnosed with the help of sophisticated MR scanning days down the line.”

The trust has brought in a teaching programme for emergency department doctors.