Published: 29/07/2004, Volume II4, No. 5916 Page 5

Twelve trusts have appealed to the Healthcare Commission challenging their star-ratings.

Six primary care trusts, four acute trusts and two mental health trusts have lodged official queries against the star-ratings they were given last week, the commission has confirmed.

A commission spokesman said all the trusts were awarded one or two stars and that most were contesting one or two indicators. He added that 'a couple' were querying the way evidence from clinical governance reviews was fed into the ratings process.

Derbyshire Mental Health Services trust dropped from two stars to one, which 'stunned' chief executive Mike Shewan. He said the trust has been so pleased with its performance that it considered itself good enough for three stars The commission said the trust under-performed on two key targets: the mental health minimum data set and one of 18 measures around the setting up of assertive outreach teams.

Mr Shewan said: 'Every mental health trust has struggled on data because investment in information technology is light years behind the acute sector.'

The commission said that trusts had until last Friday to lodge an enquiry and until August 6 to set out their formal case. The decisions will be announced in September.