The Commission for Health Improvement has sent its first review teams into two hospital trusts as part of its regular four-year programme to visit every trust in England and Wales.
Inspectors went into Southampton University Hospitals trust and Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospital trust on Monday in what health secretary Alan Milburn described as 'a landmark in the modernisation of patient care'. The trusts are two of the first four pilot schemes which have volunteered themselves for inspection.
Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospital trust's director of nursing and quality, Ron Clarke, said his trust's review would help set 'a benchmark'. But he added that it was difficult 'fitting it in with everything else'.
Reviews of North West Wales trust and City Hospitals Sunderland trusts will start in July.