PERFORMANCE: Police in Essex have launched a formal investigation into cancer data ‘manipulation’ at Colchester, they have confirmed.

In a statement on the investigation, named Operation Torquay, a police spokesman said: “Following its initial review, Essex Police has decided it is necessary to begin a criminal investigation into the alleged manipulation of cancer waiting lists at Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust.

“The investigation will aim to establish whether or not any criminal offences have been committed and then take any appropriate action dependent on the evidence.

“Essex Police is working with NHS England, the trust and other health organisations to ensure that, throughout its investigation, the priority remains the safety and welfare of the public.

“Current and former cancer patients of the hospital, their relatives and members of the public who have any concerns as a result of the CQC report are advised to contact a special helpline that the trust has set up on 0800 028 2026.”