PERFORMANCE: The Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust has blamed a downturn in stroke performance this year on an outbreak of norovirus.

The trust reported a fall in the percentage of patients spending 90 per cent of their treatment time on a dedicated stroke unit.

Primary care trust cluster board papers said: “The trust’s explanation for this is that the impact of norovirus in January and the consistent higher than anticipated A&E attendances (10-15 per cent) has impacted the stroke unit’s 90 per cent stay target.

“They have additionally reported that in February there will also be a drop in the 90 per cent stay figure as diarrhoea and vomiting has compromised the efficiency of all wards (at the peak there were 135 beds affected).

The trust’s performance had been consistently above 80 per cent since May 2011, but dipped below 70 per cent in January.

Neighbouring Heatherwood and Wexham Park Foundation Trust also reported a sharp drop against that indicator, falling to 70 per cent in January.

It reported a decrease in the percentage of patients spending 90 per cent of time on the stroke unit for the second month this financial year, although November performance is reported at 79 per cent following poor performance in April.