The Care Quality Commission (CQC) confirmed the forthcoming publication of its report into East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) after months of delays, local MP Stephen Lloyd has been told.
But despite saying it would be released in mid-March, residents will have to wait a little longer for the report of the September inspection.
The health regulator told Mr Lloyd this week that the last stage of the report process, where the findings are presented, is scheduled for Monday March 23, with the publication of the report following within the week.
The inspection of ESHT took place in September of last year, and the publication of the report has since suffered a number of delays.
Mr Lloyd said, “I’m pleased to hear that the CQC are finally within spitting distance of being able to publish the report I and the whole of Eastbourne and Willingdon have been calling for.
“The delays have though been totally unacceptable and I understand that, while it is not the longest-delayed report ever published by the CQC, it is certainly up there!
“I will be holding the CQC to account to ensure there are no further obstacles to publication, and will be extremely interested to see the Inspection Team’s findings next week.”
When the Herald spoke to the CQC in February about the delays, a spokesman said, “There has been an unavoidable delay due to personal circumstances of a key person involved in the inspection work.
“The report had been through CQC national quality assurance group several times to ensure that the judgements were balanced and reasonable based on the evidence that was found and that this was important to ensure consistency nationally and to be as fair as possible to trusts, this is a standard process with all CQC inspections of this size.
“The report by law has to also go through a factual accuracy process and the Trust has the right challenge the CQC on factual points on the report when this happens as in this case then CQC have to consider these challenges and this can slow the process down as well.
“We anticipate that the report will be published in the very near future.”