COLCHESTER General Hospital has been ordered to pay compensation to two woman after a health watchdog found failings in theirmother’s treatment for breast cancer.

The woman, who has not been named in the the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s report, was being treated for an aggressive form of breast cancer.

She was in remission, but became ill again. Her condition deteriorated rapidly and she was diagnosed with a rare syndrome and later died.

The daughters complained to the hospital over a lack of information, delays in treatment and poor care.

The Ombudsman found there were failings in the way Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust responded to complaints.

It has been told to pay each of the women £500.

The report revealed there were delays in arranging an MRI scan.

However, given her rapid deterioration and condition, changes would not have saved the patient’s life.

A spokesman for the trust said: “We take all complaints seriously and use them as learning opportunities to make improvements for the benefit of future patients.

“We have also recently improved our complaints handling processes so that, for example, we have moved away from using technical terminology in our replies and try to use plain English throughout.

“In this case the trust failed in a number of ways.

“As her report makes clear, we acknowledged those failings, apologised and took steps to minimise the risks of the same poor practice recurring.”

The investigation findings were published today as the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman enabled members of the public to view complaints online for the first time.

Summaries of 81 investigations completed in February and March can be found at The Ombudsman is the final step for people who want to complain about being treated unfairly or receiving poor service from the NHS in England.