Live updates

Chief Executive apologies to "let down" patients

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 "devastated" by alleged hospital cover-up

Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell has described today's announcement about Colchester hospital as "devastating".
Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell has described today's announcement about Colchester hospital as "devastating". Credit: PA

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."

Advertisement

Essex hospital reported to police over cancer treatment

Colchester Hospital has been reported to the police.
Colchester Hospital has been reported to the police. Credit: PA

Colchester Hospital has been reported to the police following complaints from staff that they were being "pressured or bullied" to falsify data relating to cancer patients.

The Care Quality Commission ruled that a number of cancer patients had suffered from what they deemed as "undue delays" at the hospital.

The CQC carried out an unannounced inspection in August and September, and inspectors noticed a number of "inaccuracies" with waiting time data relating to cancer treatment.

Furthermore, several staff told inspectors that they were were being "pressured or bullied" to change data relating to patients.

This was allegedly to give the illusion that people were being treated in line with national guidelines.

This meant that some patients may have failed to get the treatment they needed in time.

The CQC has now passed on its findings to Essex Police.

Essex hospitals await review findings

Colchester Hospital is one of 14 hospitals that will feature in the Keogh review
Colchester Hospital is one of 14 hospitals that will feature in the Keogh review Credit: ITV Anglia

Two Essex hospitals will be featured in a report looking into high mortality rates which is due to be released this afternoon.

Colchester and Basildon hospitals were both investigated by the Keogh review team earlier this year.

The hospitals are two of 14 nationwide to be singled out for inspection.

Hospital faces more scrutiny

Hospitals are under fresh scrutiny after concerns over the service patients are getting.

A survey of Britain's A&E departments shows waiting times at a 9-year high, with more than 300,000 people waiting longer than 4 hours to be treated.

The report comes as inspectors arrived at Colchester General Hospital to investigate high mortality rates.

It's one of 14 hospitals across the UK with higher than expected death rates.

Advertisement

Local MP's support Colchester Hospital

Essex MPs have given their support to Colchester Hospital managers after news the Trust was being investigated over high death rates.

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust was one of five trusts to be targeted by inspectors following a damning report into years of abuse and neglect at Stafford Hospital. But MPs say the Government was wrong to single out Colchester. Serena Sandhu has more.

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories