AN external review is to be launched to discover why an investigation last year into claims cancer patient records were being altered failed to find any wrongdoing.

Concerns records were being doctored to meet treatment targets were raised through Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust’s internal whistleblowing process as far back as February 2012.

Unison said a female member of staff had told the union she was “so frustrated” at the lack of action following the complaint she had emailed Dr Coutts in the summer of 2012.

The unnamed whistleblower claimed she did not receive a response.

It only emerged this week, following an investigation by the Care Quality Commission, that some patients had cancer treatment delayed by more than 100 days.

A hospital trust spokesman said: “The Board of Directors is going to commission an external review which will look at the management response to the issues raised in the CQC report.

“This will cover issues such as who knew what, when, and what did they do, or not do. Therefore, we won’t be commenting any further at this stage.”

The investigation will also “determine whether staff have acted inappropriately and whether disciplinary action is warranted”.

For a special report, see Thursday's Gazette.