Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust has gone live with System C’s Medway electronic patient record system, replacing its legacy software.

News of the go-live comes as the trust has been cleared of data falsification in a report from regulator Monitor, which placed it into special measures last year after concerns were raised about cancer waiting times.

Colchester went live with the EPR in early December, including the deployment of a patient administration system and A&E, theatres and maternity modules, as part of a larger System C portal project.

Approximately 37 million records were migrated to Medway as part of the go-live, which saw the trust replace its legacy McKesson Totalcare PAS and its Bedweb and Theatreweb systems.

Nick Chatten, Colchester’s projects director, said: “Our staff worked tirelessly to plan and prepare for this deployment, and this has really paid off. The deployment was a tribute to them.”

The go-live has been in hand for a number of years. In 2011, the trust set a go-live date of April 2013. It then realised that it needed to do further work, and put the date back to mid-October 2013.

The go-live was pushed back to this spring after the trust was put into special measures in November last year, and then delayed twice over the summer.

Colchester was put into special measures following allegations that it may have falsified data to hide missed targets for cancer treatment.

The move followed a report from inspectors from the Care Quality Commission, which said “some hospital staff reported they were pressured to change data relating to patients and their treatment to make it seem people were being treated in line with national guidelines.”

A report released by Monitor today has cleared the trust of wrongdoing, saying there was “no evidence of an instruction to manipulate or inappropriately change data on cancer treatment.”

However, it says the trust’s associate-director of cancer services did not adequately explain the reasoning behind his decisions to change data, following the introduction of a new validation process for cancer data in 2011.

It says the changes were “in some cases were difficult to explain and not understood by colleagues”, while the examination of staff complaints was mismanaged by the trust’s then finance director who failed to involve clinicians in an investigation he set up.

Adam Cayley, regional director at Monitor, said the publication of the report “should bring a very difficult chapter in the history of this trust to a close.”

“It is reassuring to find that there is no evidence of staff being bullied into changing cancer data, but it is even clearer that there were serious managerial failures at the trust. The new management team at the hospital is already delivering improvements for patients – a process we expect to see continue.”         

As part of the trust’s turnaround, it implemented the Somerset Cancer Information System, which it bought in 2010 but had not implemented before the cancer waits problem came to light.

Markus Bolton, joint chief executive of System C, said of the far bigger EPR go-live: “Replacement of such a broad range of functionality that impacts almost every operating process in a hospital is a big task and the go-live is just the start of this process.

“We are really pleased with the progress to date and will be working hard over the next few months to bed the system down and to help the trust to maximise the benefits.”