Around half of the trusts that had conditions placed on their registration with the Care Quality Commission had been unaware there were problems.

CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower told HSJ roughly 50 per cent of those handed conditions had to be told they were failing to meet particular standards.

Ms Bower said: “What I found encouraging was where trusts were prepared to say ‘we’re not compliant but this is what I’m doing about it’.”

Registration started on 18 March. The 22 given conditions are 15 acute trusts, four mental health trusts, two primary care trusts and one ambulance trust.

Ms Bower said the number was “at the low end” of what the CQC was expecting and that she had no concerns over the fact that more than half were foundation trusts.

As HSJ went to press, none of the trusts had told the CQC they were planning to appeal the decision.