PERFORMANCE West Berkshire health and social care bodies have begun weekly meetings in west Berkshire in response to the area’s persistently high delayed transfers of care rate.

The Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust had a year to date delayed transfer rate of 5.5 per cent for the first half of 2012-13, against a target of 3.5 per cent.

October board papers for the trust said: “The discharge lounge had 320 patients which was an increase of 35 on August and an increase of 78 as per September 2011, although figures were higher in the spring and early summer.”

An “interim measure” was put in place to address a “conflict between West Berkshire Council and the PCT around continuing care funding”. The short term measure was expected to ensure patients are moved on “in a timely manner.”

The papers said the trust would “meet weekly with West Berks Council and Continuing Healthcare to ensure West Berkshire patients are cared for in the right place.”

A pan health economy “winter capacity group” has also begun fortnightly meetings, to increase nursing home and intermediate care capacity in the area, and work with GPs to smooth the flow of referrals from primary care.