More than 70 people turned out to a meeting to give their impressions of Northampton General Hospital to inspectors ahead of an audit inspection that starts today.
Current and former patients told representatives of the Care Quality Commission about very good and very bad care to help guide which areas they examine over the coming days.
Ed Palfrey of the CQC said: “We very much appreciate the number of people who feel strongly enough about their hospital to turn up.
“Every story will us will help our inspectors.”
The event saw members of the public sit round tables in groups and tell CQC representatives about their care.
The CQC tried to exclude the media from the event at the start because they were concerned it would inhibit the views.
However some patients, members of the media and Rosie Newbigging of the Healthwatch watchdog raised objections and the media was allowed to observe.
James Sawyer, from Duston, said afterwards: “I thought it was a useful exercise. The CQC want are genuinely interested in finding out what is right and wrong about NGH and the inspectors I talked with are people who have worked in hospitals.
“I told them I’ve had both some poor experiences there and extremely good care.
“My only wish is that they would do some unannounced inspections, that’s the only way to get a true picture.”