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About your Hospital

inpatient information booklet

How to get to the hospital

Travelling to Hospital

You are expected to make your own way both to and from the hospital. Hospital transport will only be provided if there is a clinical need which is determined by the team responsible for your care. You can book a taxi from the hospital but you will need to pay for this. If you are entitled to claim travel costs you can ask for advice from the receptionist.


car park

Location maps for Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital


Car parking is extremely limited at our hospitals and not guaranteed. Because of the pressure on car park spaces, we would strongly encourage you to explore alternative ways of travelling to the hospital.

Colchester General Hospital parking information

Essex County Hospital parking information

Parking fee concessions for visitors of long stay in-patients and long-term patients attending the hospital for continuous treatment are available.

Access for disabled people

Free parking spaces for disabled people are available close to the hospital, subject to a valid disabled badge being displayed. If full, you may park in an ordinary parking bay, but you must not park on double yellow lines. Most pedestrian entrances of the hospital are accessible by wheelchair users. For further advice contact PALS or the front desk in the main entrance to Colchester General Hospital.

Our Trust commissioned DisabledGo to produce a detailed access survey of the Trust's car parks, access points, toilets and services. Search the accessibility of our hospitals.

Journey Planning & Public Transport


Remember your appointment letter will tell you which hospital to attend.

By bus for Colchester General Hospital, the bus services 8, 8a and 65 provide a 10 minute frequency service from the town centre and North Station to Colchester General Hospital, dropping off in Turner Road and picking up outside the hospital's main entrance. There are many other bus services to the town centre from around and outside Colchester, which can be combined with the 8, 8a and 65 to get to Colchester General Hospital. It is recommended that you alight at Head Street or North Station to catch one of the services for ongoing travel to Colchester General Hospital. The number 84 (from Sudbury) and number 5 (from Lexden) also provides an hourly service which stops at Colchester General Hospital.

By bus for Essex County Hospital, the bus service number 65 provides a 12 minute frequency service during peak hours (20 minutes during the day) from the town centre, North Station and the bus station and drops off in Lexden Road outside Essex County Hospital. The number 5 provides an hourly service up until lunch time which serves both Essex County Hospital and Colchester General Hospital, North Station, the town centre and Lexden and the 71/71c passes Essex County Hospital from Chelmsford, Kelvedon, Marks Tey and in the opposite direction from Colchester Bus Station on an approximately hourly basis.

Colchester Hospital Hopper from Tendring, the Colchester Hospital Hopper provides a wheelchair accessible minibus from Tendring to our hospitals.

Hospital Hopper bus


Free if you hold a concessionery bus pass. For timetable and fare information please call 01255 436962.

Harwich Hospital Hopper, a Harwich Hopper Bus Service is available, this has a direct bus service for patients and hospital visitors linking Harwich with the Colchester hospitals: Colchester General Hospital, The Oaks Hospital, Essex County Hospital and St. Helena Hospice.

The Harwich Hospital Hopper Bus, a wheelchair accessible 16 seat mini-bus, offers daily return services direct to these key hospital sites in Colchester on weekdays - Mondays to Fridays (excluding Bank Holidays) with passenger pick up points in Harwich, Dovercourt, Parkeston and the Mayes Lane area. Services leave the Harwich area by 9.00am and 2.00pm, with return journeys at 1200 noon and 4.30pm.

Fare £5 single or return: seats must be pre-booked (both outward/return), flexible local routing to meet passenger requirements. Concessions: Half price travel for children aged 5 to 16. Free travel for children under 5 years of age. Concessionary Bus Passes valid for this service.

For more information see the Harwich Connexions web site.

By train

Colchester North Station is a four minute bus ride from Colchester General Hospital. The number 65, 8, 8a, 5, and 84 can be caught from the lay-by outside the station accessed via the exit near platform 4. Alternatively Colchester General Hospital is only a 15 minute walk from North Station. Taxis are immediately available outside North Station and the fare is approximately £5.

By bike

Bike Parking

Secure and covered cycle and storage motorcycle is provided at both hospitals.

TransportDirect website

Shops & Restaurants

League of Friends

Colchester General Hospital has four Colchester League of Hospital & Community Friends shops. The shop by the main entrance sells hot and cold snacks and drinks and a wide range of confectionery and general items, including newspapers, magazines, postage stamps, batteries and toiletries. The nearby Gift Shop sells gifts, greetings cards, books and stationery.

Opening times

8am-8pm, weekdays
9.30am-5pm, Saturdays
12noon-5pm, Sundays

There are smaller shops in Gainsborough Wing (open 8.30am-4.30pm weekdays), Constable Wing and Elmstead Day Unit (9am-4pm weekdays).

Aids for independent living, and slippers, are sold in Constable Wing's shop.

Essex County Hospital has a League of Friends shop located in the Outpatients Department. They sell a variety of products, such as: sandwiches, snacks, hot and cold drinks, flowers, fresh fruit, books, stationery, cards, postage stamps, toiletries, batteries, National Lottery tickets, newspapers, magazines, and confectionery. If you or your visitors cannot find what you need in any of these shops, ward staff would be able to direct your visitors to the nearby supermarkets.

Cash Machine

A cash point machine is available at Colchester General Hospital for use by patients, visitors and staff. It is located on the ground floor of the main hospital building, along the main corridor leading to the Children's Day Unit. There is no charge for cash withdrawals.

Information about you

The Data Protection Act (1998) states that you have a right to be informed that your personal information will be held in both paper and computerised form. This information may be used for statistical, teaching and training purposes. However, wherever possible the information will not include your name and will be held in strict confidence by the Trust. The information may be shared with other individuals or organisations concerned with your healthcare and treatment, such as your GP.

You are entitled to access to your personal health record.

Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. Further information about this is available by contacting the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

Your consent to treatment will be needed if you have to undergo a procedure or treatment during your visit. The clinic staff will explain the procedure or treatment to you which will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. A chaperone will be provided where appropriate. Please ask if you require any further information or do not understand.

Concerns about your care

Leaflets called "Your Views Count" are available throughout the hospitals for you to complete and return. It is an opportunity for you to raise any issues or to relay compliments about our service. If you have any concerns or worries about your care you should speak to a member of staff. Or you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

You can send us a compliment!

Complaints and improvements

If you have been unable to resolve your concerns or wish to make a formal complaint, please contact the Complaints and Legal Services Department on 01206 745926 or ask any member of staff for a leaflet, which will describe how you may make a complaint.

Mobile phones

Mobile phones can cause problems to sensitive medical equipment in certain areas of the hospital. Please follow the warning signs which indicate where they can be used.


Smoking is the biggest avoidable cause of premature death and the NHS must lead by example. Smoking is not allowed by anyone in any Trust building, building entrances or the grounds except at a few designated external smoking points.