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Colchester: World-leading NHS trust The Royal Marsden drafted in to fix Colchester Hospital’s cancer services

18:10 03 February 2014

Colchester General Hospital

Colchester General Hospital

An NHS trust placed in special measures last year is to be assisted by an institute regarded as a world-leader in providing services for cancer patients.

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Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust was enveloped in scandal in November 2013 when it emerged police were investigating claims cancer waiting lists had been manipulated in order to hit targets.

In the wake of the controversy the trust’s chief executive Dr Gordon Coutts left his position by “mutual consent”. He was replaced by interim chief executive Kim Hodgson on January 6.

Now health sector regulator Monitor has announced The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, a world-leading cancer centre specialising in diagnosis, treatment, care, education and research, will help their Essex colleagues fix the problems with their own services.

Trust chairman Dr Sally Irvine said: “The Trust welcomes the announcement by Monitor that we are to be partnered with The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

“The Royal Marsden is a world-leading cancer centre and a byword for excellence.

“I am confident that their support and expertise will help us to achieve the improvements to cancer services to which this Trust is fully committed.”

Another recent appointment is that of Mark Davies, former CEO of Imperial College Healthcare and Hammersmith and St Mary’s Hospitals, to the role of Improvement Director.

Adam Cayley, Regional Director at Monitor said: “The Royal Marsden has an excellent track record in providing specialist cancer services for its patients and will provide specifically tailored support to help Colchester improve its cancer services for its patients.”

The hospital was initially reported to the police after inspectors from the Care Quality Commission were told by staff they were “pressured or bullied” to change data about cancer patients and their treatment to make it seem like they were being treated in line with national guidelines.

The inspectors also found there were “inaccuracies” with waiting time data and as a result of this a number of patients had suffered “undue delays”.

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