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.
Colchester Hospital Trust has "lost the confidence of patients and the public", Unison have said as they welcomed the decision to place the trust in special measures.
The trade union called for a "full and thorough investigation" into the hospital last week following claims that staff were "bullied" into falsifying the records of cancer patients.
Unison regional head of health Tracey Lambert said:
The chief inspector of hospitals has welcomed the decision to place Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust in special measures.
Professor Sir Mike Richards, who is tasked with overhauling how hospitals are checked following the Stafford Hospital scandal, said:
"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."
Colchester Hospital University Trust is "truly sorry" over the quality of cancer patient care, the chief executive has said, following news that it had been placed in special measures.
Allegations that that staff were forced to change cancer waiting times data to make it seem as though people were being treated in line with national guidelines, were revealed earlier this month.
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."
The Department of Health have said the news Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust has been put in special measures is a sign that the new inspection system is working.
The health sector regulator Monitor announced it had placed the trust in special measures following concerns over the quality and safety of patient care.
A spokesman said:
Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust must tackle concerns over the quality and safety of patient care, the health service regulator has said.
Monitor said the trust was put in special measures "to ensure all its patients receive good quality care".
A formal investigation found the trust had breached its licence to provide health services.
The trust will be required to "put right the patient quality, safety and governance concerns highlighted by the CQC" under the measures, Monitor said.
The hospital will also be matched with a high-performing trust which can offer support and expertise, and an improvement director will also be appointed to ensure their are effective changes.
Colchester Hospital, which has been placed in special measures, is at the centre of a police investigation over allegations that staff were forced to change cancer waiting times data.
A number of cancer patients suffered "undue delays" at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, according to a report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
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.
Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust has been placed in special measures by health sector regulator Monitor.