The Care Quality Commission has published its ratings of three hospital trusts, the first to receive judgements under its new inspection regime.

Heart of England Foundation Trust and Dartford and Gravesham Trust were both rated as “requires improvement” while Royal Surrey County Hospital Foundation Trust achieved a “good” rating.

The best rating on the four point scale is outstanding while the worst is inadequate. The CQC is rating each of the eight core services it visits on every hospital inspection against whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

These ratings are then aggregated to produce a rating for the services overall and for the trust as a whole.

The safety and responsiveness accident and emergency department at Heart of England’s Good Hope hospital were the only elements to be rated inadequate at the three trusts. Royal Surrey’s maternity services were judged to be outstandingly caring and well-led while children’s services were also rated outstanding for their responsiveness to patient needs.

Dartford and Gravesham Trust was rated as requiring improvement overall despite six of the eight services achieving a good rating.

Chief inspector of hospitals Sir Mike Richards has told HSJ while the regulator would not use an “algorithm” it would generally be the case that where two or more services required imporvement a trust’s overall rating would be requires improvement.

The ratings can be viewed in the CQC’s report into the first wave of inspections.

Richards: CQC must improve inspection consistency