Police Investigate Cancer Treatment at Colchester General Hospital

Police Investigate Cancer Treatment at Colchester General Hospital

Police will look into failures at an Essex hospital’s cancer unit after reports of delayed treatment and managers bullying staff.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) conducted an unannounced inspection into the complaints about the Colchester General Hospital in August and September this year.
The CQC found that patient records were not kept up to date which was resulting in failures in treatment.
Chief executive Dr Gordon Coutts told the BBC: “We are very concerned by the report.”
“We are truly sorry that in some cases cancer patients their carers and families have not always received the high quality of care that they should have expected from our trust.”
The chief inspector of hospitals Prof Sir Mike Richards has recommended that Colchester Hosptital University NHS Foundation Trust be placed in special measures where they will bring in a new management team and another trust will be put in charge.
The CQC said that the inspectors visit came following complaints received concerning the cancer treatment waiting times.
It said that in three cases delays for treatment reached over 100 days outside of the required 62 days.
It also discovered that medical records and appointment details were altered to seem as if patients had been treated within national guidelines.
The inaccuracies meant there was great risk of people’s treatment being delayed.
The CQC found 22 cases where patients experienced care delays.
Essex Police said it had been contacted by the CQC about the complaints and said that the information was being reviewed to see whether it was necessary to launch a criminal investigation.
The CQC shared it’s findings with the police “due to serious failings indentified”.
“We found that the concerns raised by staff in relation to changes made to people’s cancer pathways were not appropriately managed investigated or responded to be senior staff of the trust” it told the BBC.
“Staff we spoke to provided examples of bullying and harassment by the management team in respect of changes of the cancer pathways.
“We found that managers did not show clear leadership in a way that ensured the safety and welfare of patient by providing a high quality of care.”
Concerns were found in 2012 from an internal trust investigation which found that hospital bosses did not look into these allegations or follow up with patient affected according to CQC.
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