AN ARMY of inspectors is preparing to descend on Hampshire as a health trust goes under the microscope for its most thorough examination ever.

Solent NHS Trust is about to become one of the first community and mental health trusts to be inspected under radical changes being introduced by the Care Quality Commission.

But to ensure their focus is on services that patients really care about and where there may be problems that need highlighting, the CQC is asking for Daily Echo readers to have their say.

Sir Mike Richards, England’s chief inspector of hospitals, is urging people in Southampton and Hampshire to tell his inspectors what they think of the services provided by the trust and share their experiences, good and bad.

It is these views and experiences that will help the group of 55 inspectors to know what to look at when they start the week-long inspection next Monday, which also forms an important part of the process for Solent achieving Foundation Trust status.

The CQC will be hosting a drop-in session on Thursday at the Royal South Hants Hospital, from 10am to 1pm, in the Atrium, to hear views from as many people as possible. The formal inspection will be carried out by a team including doctors, nurses, specialist inspectors and people who have experience of using health services.

It comes after Sir Mike announced in November that CQC is taking a new approach to the inspection of mental health services, to put a greater emphasis on the care that people receive in the community, at the same time as inspecting services for people who are admitted to hospital for assessment or treatment.

Sir Mike said: “We have recognised that we need to strengthen our approach to regulating mental health and community health services to ensure people get care that is safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well led. Of course we will be talking to doctors and nurses and patients. But it is vital that we also hear the views of the people who have experience of the care provided by Solent NHS Trust, or anyone who wants to share information with us, to help us plan our inspection, and so focus on those things that really matter to people.

“This is your opportunity to tell me and my team what you think, and to make a difference to the NHS services in this area.”

Those who cannot make the drop-in session, can share their views by calling 03000 61 61 61 or emailing