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Cancer service wins national award
COLCHESTER’S health trust has won a national award for supporting breast cancer patients - despite it being investigated over cancer waiting times.
Essex County Hospital's secondary breast cancer nurse service was honoured at the Nursing Network Awards.
Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, was put into special measures by Monitor earlier this month after a report by the Care Quality Commission found cancer patients’ records had been altered.
The report revealed 22 out of 61 cancer patients’ treatment may have been delayed, but records were altered to make it look like treatment had started within the target time.
Staff told commission inspectors they had been “pressured or bullied” to change data relating to patients and their treatment.
Essex Police has also launched a criminal investigation into the cancer scandal, which relates mainly to waiting times for urology and lower gastrointestinal cancers and those of the head, neck, breast and skin.
Investigators from NHS England will be looking at all other cancer services in the wake of the scandal.
Tomorrow trust chief executive Dr Gordon Coutts is due to tell the trust's board it has failed to hits its 31-day and 62-day cancer targets for the latest quarter.
The nursing award was for best research and audit project.
The service, which provides a consistent key worker to support patients whose cancer has spread to other organs and their families, receives about 50 new referrals a year.
In such cases, the cancer is incurable but some patients may live up to 10 to 15 years with a good or reasonable quality of life.
The team behind the project won £1,000 to support their work, and plan to put it towards the cost of nurse education.
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