A DOCTOR leading the biggest ever inspection of county hospitals said he expected staff to be “remarkably” frank.

About 60 Care Quality Commission (CQC’s) inspectors have taken part in a two-day visit of sites run by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.

The CQC’s regime has been expanded following concerns about avoidable deaths at hospitals in Staffordshire.

It would not be drawn on findings so far but, speaking on Monday evening, inspection lead Dr Chris Gordon said other visits saw staff give their views.

He said: “They are very frank, remarkably so. Often it is a sign of a good organisation that allows its staff to be open.”

Inspectors met staff, patients and visitors at Oxford’s John Radcliffe, Churchill and Nuffield Orthopaedic hospitals and Banbury’s Horton General.

They visited A&E, medical wards, surgery, intensive and critical care, maternity, paediatrics and children’s care, end of life care and outpatients.

Dr Gordon added: “We need to find out what it is like at the coal face in clinical areas. We will probably talk to 200 staff.”

He was speaking at a CQC open event at Oxford’s Town Hall on Monday where inspectors spoke to 50 patients. Another event was held at Banbury Town Hall.

The new inspections system will rate the trust as outstanding, good, requiring improvement or inadequate.