THREE ‘listening events’ are to be held this evening as part of a wider inspection of the Morecambe Bay hospitals trust.

The consultations, in Kendal, Lancaster and Barrow, are to be run by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for anyone who has received care from the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, which runs the Furness, Westmorland and Lancaster hospitals.

They will form part of a fortnight-long inspection of the trust, which was set to begin today.

"The new 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,” said Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Sir Mike Richards.

"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.

"Of course we will be talking to doctors and nurses, hospital managers and patients in the hospital. But it is vital that we also hear the views of the people who have had care at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust or anyone who wants to share information with us.”

They say the aim is for attendees to talk about their experiences, share feedback on how improvements can be made and find out how inspections will be carried out.

The Kendal event will be held at Kendal College, Milnthorpe Rd.

The Lancaster event will be held in the private dining room at Lancaster University.

In Barrow the event will be held at The Forum, on Duke Street.

All events will begin at 6.30pm.

Now South Lakes MP Tim Farron is encouraging local people to attend one of the meetings.

"It’s really important that they hear from local people," he said.

"I am going to the event with a dossier of cases I have dealt with. 

"The only way we can improve care is if the regulation is rigorous and effective – with residents help, we can try and make sure that happens.”

Mr Farron said he hopes to ask questions about maternity services and acute pathways at the meeting.

A full report of the inspectors’ findings will be published by the CQC later in the year.

The trust will be one of the first to be given a rating of either ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requiring improvement’, or ‘inadequate’.