Care Quality Commission inspectors start their examination of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Trust

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney. - Credit: Evening News © 2009

Inspectors from a government watchdog have today started their assessment of the region's biggest health provider.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) staff are at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust over the next few days to gather information which will result in the trust being given an overall rating.

The trust can be named either 'outstanding', 'good', 'requires improvement', or 'inadequate'.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals at the CQC, said: 'The inspections are designed to provide people with a clear picture of the quality of the services in their local hospital, exposing poor or mediocre care as well as highlighting the many hospitals providing good and excellent care.'

Professor Richards announced last year he will lead 'significantly larger inspection teams than before', which are headed up by clinical and other experts.

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'We know there is too much variation in quality – these new in-depth inspections will allow us to get a much more detailed picture of care in hospitals than ever before,' Professor Richards said.

His team will be split into groups and look in detail at eight key service areas: A&E, medical care (including frail elderly), surgery, intensive/critical care, maternity, paediatrics/children's care, end-of-life care, and outpatients.

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The previous CQC report highlighted an alleged 'culture of bullying' which 'emanated from senior management'.

Then chief executive Anna Dugdale resigned shortly afterwards. She was replaced by Mark Davies, who was made permanent chief executive of the trust last month.

The views of staff, patients, and their relatives will also be sought, starting with a public meeting tonight at The Space, Roundtree Way, Norwich, NR7 8SQ, at 6pm.

All members of the public who want to give their view on the trust are invited to attend.

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