Police investigate allegations of data falsification at Essex hospital

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 07 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6719
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

Essex Police are considering launching a criminal investigation into allegations that junior administrative staff were bullied into falsifying data to cover up delays in treating patients with cancer at Colchester General Hospital in Essex.

Police were called in by the chief inspector of hospitals, Mike Richards, after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out an unannounced inspection in response to a whistleblower’s tip off.

Hospital staff told the inspectors, who visited in August and September, that they had been pressured or bullied by managers to alter data to make it appear that patients who experienced delays had been treated in line with national guidelines.

These guidelines provide that patients who are suspected of having cancer should see a …

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