Colchester Hospital says it is not "working on the assumption" that one out of three cancer patients (approximately 2,000 a year) has had their records falsified, as claimed by The Observer newspaper.
Any figures quoted in the media about the number of patients who may have been affected are purely speculative.
We are determined to get to the bottom of all of the concerns and issues raised in the CQC report and we are already working closely with professional regulators, local GPs, North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS England and Essex police to do so.
If there is any evidence that any of our staff have inappropriately adjusted and reported cancer figures, the Trust will take strong action in all cases...
Our priority is the safety and welfare of all cancer patients.
– Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust
Colchester Hospital has rejected claims that up to 6000 cancer patients may have had their records falsified.
The hospital is the subject of an investigation after it emerged some records had been doctored to meet national standards.
Today a national newspaper claimed one in three cancer patients may have been affected - 2000 each year. But the hospital's trust says those figures are 'purely speculative'. It says it's determined to get to the bottom of what happened and that patient safety remains its priority.
Health chiefs are having weekly meetings with Colchester Hospital to ensure there are no further delays in treating cancer patients.
The Clinical Commissioning Group for North East Essex has taken the step after claims were made that some staff at the hospital had been bullied into falsifying waiting-time data to help it meet targets.
It's also working with NHS England and the hospital to carry out a wider investigation which it says will go beyond the sample cases seen by the Care Quality Commission.
A Care Quality Commission report says staff at Colchester Hospital were bullied into falsifying waiting time data for cancer treatment, treatment that was sometimes so overdue the hospital admits it may have put patients' lives at risk. Now police have been called in to investigate.
The Chief Executive of Colchester Hospital has apologised to patients who he says have been "let down" by the trust.
Dr Gordon Coutts was giving his reaction to today's news that the hospital has been reported to Essex Police following complaints from staff that they were being asked to falsify data on cancer patients.
Staff told inspectors they were "pressured or bullied" to change data relating to patients to make it look as if they were being treated in line with national guidelines.
Colchester hospital has now set up a special helpline so any cancer patients or relatives who have concerns can get in touch.
The number to ring is 0800 028 2026 and it will be staffed from 8am to 8pm seven days a week.
Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell has described today's announcement about Colchester hospital as "devastating".
The hospital has been reported to police following complaints from staff that they were being "pressured or bullied" to falsify data relating to cancer patients.
Sir Bob Russell said: " The apparent cover-up is of the utmost seriousness and there can be no justification under any circumstances."
But he also stressed that every year around 6,000 people attend Colchester’s hospitals for cancer treatment, and that the number subject of the investigation was just 30 – “but that is 30 too many.”
Sir Bob added: “From my perspective, what has been unearthed does not indicate that such systematic failings exist throughout the Colchester Hospital Trust.
"Staff at both Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital, and by that I mean all staff, medical and support, have my total confidence that they are doing a first class job for which all of us should appreciate."