Publication of an investigation into alleged wrongful manipulation of cancer patients’ waiting time data at Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust is being held up by legal issues, HSJ understands.

A draft of the independent report has been submitted to Monitor but a source familiar with the process said the report authors’ decision to name individuals and their roles in the scandal has caused delays, as the regulator sought legal advice.

HSJ understands the report is likely to be published within the next couple of months, although it is unclear yet whether or not the names if the names will be redacted from the public version.

Monitor confirmed to HSJ that it had received a draft of the report.  

A Monitor spokeswoman said: “Monitor has received a draft copy of the independent investigation into concerns about patients’ cancer care at Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust.

“The appropriate due process, which includes legal advice, is being followed ahead of the report being published by the trust.”

The trust announced an independent investigation would take place in November following a Care Quality Commission report said that there were“inaccuracies” with waiting time data relating to cancer treatment.

Staff had had told inspectors they were “pressured or bullied” to change data to make it seem as though people were being treated in line with national guidelines, the report said.

The trust was subsequently placed in special measures and is the matter is being investigated by the police.

The inquiry has been led by Pat Troop, a former deputy chief medical officer of England, and Carole Taylor-Brown, former chief executive of NHS Suffolk and former chair of the Anglia Cancer Network.

The trust has seen a raft of personnel changes since the CQC’s report.

It has appointed three interim chief executives since its last permanent chief Gordon Coutts left shortly after the scandal broke.

Former Whipps Cross University Hospital Trust chief executive Lucy Moore took on the role this month, shortly after Sally Irvine, the trust’s chair since 2010, announced she was leaving.