PERFORMANCE: The council of governors at East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust has come out in support of the trust board and expressed its “disappointment” at a “misleading” Care Quality Commission report which criticised leadership at the trust as “inadequate”.

Earlier this month the CQC released a highly critical report on the trust accusing it of a “worrying disconnect” between management and frontline staff and recommending it be placed in special measures.

In a statement the council said it shared the trust’s “surprise and disappointment” at the CQC’s findings although it agreed there were “important areas” where the trust needed to make improvements.

However it said the CQC’s ratings for the trust were “misleading in several important areas” and suggested that in “some instances, the evidence used by the commission to support the overall ratings is extremely limited”.

It added: “We find it hard to recognise the trust in several important areas of the CQC’s assessment.”

The council said it had confidence in and supported the board, “with which it enjoys a productive, but appropriately and suitably challenging, relationship”.

The statement contrasts markedly with comments from the former lead governor of East Kent, Ken Rogers, who accused senior management of repeatedly brushing aside his and fellow governors’ concerns.

Mr Rogers, who quit as lead governor several weeks ago, said he had “got fed up with banging my head against a brick wall” and felt managers were “not listening to patients’ views”.

He claimed the governors repeatedly raised issues about staffing shortages and services but were told there was not a problem, and said the governors were unaware the CQC report was so damning until the last minute.