Police have launched a criminal investigation into the alleged manipulation of waiting lists at Colchester Hospital, while NHS England announced its own review of the services.
"Patients need to know that cancer services are safe today, will be safe tomorrow and if they weren’t safe in the past, that everything is being done to rapidly put things right and provide on-going support.” Andrew Pike of NHS England said.
Staff at Colchester told care quality inspectors they were "pressured or bullied" to change data relating to patients and their treatment to make it seem as though people were being treated in line with national guidelines.
Police have launched a criminal investigation into the alleged manipulation of cancer waiting lists at a hospital in Colchester.
The investigation into Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust will aim to establish whether any criminal offences have been committed. The hospital was placed into special measures after the allegations came to light last month.
"We welcome Monitor's decision to accept my recommendation to place Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust in special measures.
"I am pleased that information from CQC's inspection has resulted in the action that is being taken by Monitor to improve services at the trust. CQC will continue to monitor the trust in line with its regulatory responsibilities and this will include further inspections."
Trust chief executive, Dr Gordon Coutts, said: "Everyone at the trust was extremely concerned about the problems identified in the CQC report.
"We are truly sorry that in some cases cancer patients, their carers and families have not been given the high quality of care this trust always aims to provide.
"We have already taken action in response to the findings of the CQC report and we are continuing to address all of the concerns that were raised. Our priority is the safety and well-being of all our patients."
What's happened at Colchester shows the new system working; the spotlight shone on failings and extra support has been given to improve standards rapidly.
It is in everyone's interests — patients, NHS staff and the public— that those working within the NHS feel able to speak up when they see something wrong and that their concerns are taken seriously and acted on to drive up standards.
That's why we've strengthened the inspection regime, given whistle-blowers extra protection and made it a duty for staff to raise concerns.
CQC inspectors found that there were "inaccuracies" with waiting time data relating to cancer treatment, while staff told inspectors they were "pressured or bullied" to change data to make it seem as though people were being treated in line with national guidelines.