The Care Quality Commission is expected to visit a Brighton hospital today following the death of an elderly inpatient, who is believed to have swallowed cleaning fluid.

The police are also investigating the sudden death of the 85 year old woman at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

The woman died on 23 September at the hospital, part of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust. Her death, described by police as “unexplained”, has been referred to the coroner.

HSJ understands some days before her death she had ingested a small quantity of a cleaning product, which was mixed with another liquid. It has not yet been established that the cleaning fluid was the cause of her death.

Amanda Stanford, head of hospital inspections at the CQC, said: “The CQC are aware of the death of a patient at Royal Sussex County Hospital and our thoughts are with family and friends at this distressing time.

“We can confirm that CQC are currently looking into this and working closely with other stakeholders including Sussex Police. We will report our findings in due course. We believe that everyone has a right to consistent, safe, high quality care.”

The trust said it was working with the police. The police have been interviewing a number of staff at the hospital.