PERFORMANCE: The Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust has adopted a new stroke care pathway after performance plummeted this spring.

In his statement to the primary care trust cluster board, chief executive Charles Waddicor said: “There is still too much variability in caring for stroke patients across hospitals and the delays in discharging patients from Royal Berkshire is a continued source of concern.”

Board reports showed that the percentage of patients spending 90 per cent of their time on a dedicated stroke unit plummeted in March to 63.5 per cent. The figure improved to 73 per cent in April.

The trust implemented an entire new stroke pathway from the beginning of May, and has been concentrating on getting patients onto its stroke unit within four hours.

Breach reports are now going to trust directors every day.

The cluster said Royal Berkshire cited “bed capacity pressures” as the main reason for the poor performance.

The Berkshire PCT cluster met the trust late in May to agree a joint action plan to bring performance above 80 per cent.

Under the plan, the trust must provide evidence of shortfalls in capacity, while the PCT must work with providers to ensure service specifications are met.

Commissioners and providers will review the pathway to identify what capacity is required in each acute and community service.

However, the milestone dates for the actions are yet to be finalised.