PERFORMANCE: Care Quality Commission inspectors have returned to East Sussex Healthcare Trust just two days before the regulator is due to publish a report into the trust.

The unannounced two day inspection took place yesterday and today. The CQC is expected to publish its report tomorrow.

Man with clipboard

Inspectors revisited the trust yesterday and today

The publication of the CQC’s report from its inspection in September has already been delayed as the trust and the CQC have been back and forth during the quality assurance process and the trust challenged factual points in the report, a CQC spokesman said.

HSJ asked the CQC last month what was causing the delay to publication.

A CQC spokesman said: “The report had been through CQC’s national quality assurance group several times to ensure that the judgements were balanced and reasonable based on the evidence that was found and that this was important to ensure consistency nationally and to be as fair as possible to trusts. This is a standard process with all CQC inspections of this size.

“The report by law has to also go through a factual accuracy process and the trust has the right to challenge the CQC on factual points on the report. When this happens, as in this case, then CQC have to consider these challenges and this can slow the process down.”

East Sussex chief executive Darren Grayson said: “We can confirm that the CQC carried out an unannounced inspection at Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne District General Hospital [on Wednesday and Thursday].

“We welcomed the visit by the CQC and continued to operate normally during their inspection.”

A CQC spokesman said: “Following an inspection last year we are about to report our findings following our inspection last year. To ensure we give the most accurate picture to date, CQC inspectors are visiting the trust this week and we will be publishing the report on 27 March.”