THE medical director at Colchester General Hospital said patients’ trust had been shaken by revelations cancer patients’ records had been altered.

Dr Sean MacDonnell said staff at the hospital felt angry and betrayed by the members of staff who had changed patients’ records to make it appear they were receiving cancer treatment.

He revealed Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust was now voluntarily instigating checks on cancer patient records going back three years.

He said: “Trust is the most important thing and I can understand how that trust has been shaken.

“Patients are putting their lives in our hands and if they can’t trust us it must be terrifying for them.

“That is what makes us so angry.

“One of the things which came out of the Keogh Review was how passionate staff are about working here.

“We spend our lives caring for patients. That is our number one priority.”

He added: “I live in Colchester and I am looking after my friends and neighbours.
“My family comes here when they are ill and so would I.
“That is also true of most of our staff.”

Dr MacDonnell urged all cancer patients to ensure they have their treatment.

He said: “I am really worried there are people out there who are worried about having treatment.

“They have to understand this is not about treatment.

“They must go ahead with their radiotherapy and chemotherapy.”

Dr MacDonnell said the trust was now examining the records of cancer patients going back three years to ensure there were no other inconsistencies.

“It is going to be a lot of work but we have a team on it and we are working with the Essex local area team from NHS England.”