Corporate Information


Updated 27 October 2014

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Our sites

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust has two main sites: Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital.
Colchester General Hospital opened in 1984. There are 596 inpatient beds (general and anaesthetic), 44 maternity beds (including at Clacton and Harwich hospitals) and 12 critical care beds. (This doesn't include cots or A&E.)
Essex County Hospital was opened in 1820 and until October 2014 had two inpatient wards used for oncology (cancer) patients. It has long been the strategy of this Trust and our predecessor organisations to centralise acute services at Colchester General Hospital. In April 2014 the Board of Directors announced its intention to transfer all services and departments off the Essex County Hospital site in 2015. Chemotherapy had already moved to the General in October 2013 and the Radiotherapy Department relocated in June 2014 to a brand-new £25m Radiotherapy Centre. Rhys Lewis and Jefferson wards moved to the newly-refurbished and extended West Bergholt Ward at the General site in October 2014.
Scientific staff are based at the Severalls Hospital site and in the microbiology department near Colchester General Hospital.
Although it is our strategy to centralise acute services at Colchester General Hospital, we also provide some services - such as outpatient and maternity services - at the community hospitals in Clacton and Harwich (run by Anglian Community Enterprise, or ACE) and Halstead Hospital (run by Central Essex Community Services, or CECS).


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The population we serve

The Trust provides healthcare services to around 370,000 people from Colchester and the surrounding area of north east Essex. In addition, we provide radiotherapy and oncology services to a wider population of about 670,000 people across north and mid-Essex. You can read more about the population we serve in our latest Annual Report.

Colchester is the largest town in north east Essex. It is a largely affluent area with relatively low unemployment and above average life expectancy. The Tendring peninsula is more rural and has a much higher concentration of elderly and economically less well-off people.

Colchester is home to one of the largest UK garrisons. The Trust values its relationship with the garrison and has developed a number of collaborative arrangements to provide services to service personnel and their families and to integrate garrison medical staff into service provision at the Trust.


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Our services

The Trust provides a range of patient services. See also our Facts and Figures page.

Our NHS Foundation Trust status

The Trust was authorised as a Foundation Trust by Monitor in May 2008. The Trust is an associate teaching hospital of the University of London. Unlike hospital trusts without FT status, the governance of our Trust has three main components. You can read more about this here.


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Our vision

The Trust's updated vision is:

to be the Trust that patients, carers and staff would recommend 100% of the time to friends and family.

We use our "Friends and Family test" to measure this.

Our corporate objectives

The Trust's updated corporate objectives:

  • to put the patients at the centre of all that we do
  • to provide high quality and safe care for our patients
  • to realise the potential of our workforce, empowering them to deliver
  • to deliver services 'right first time' improving our patient pathways and reducing our waiting times
  • to achieve sustainable financial performance
  • to improve our infrastructure
  • to be a strong partner with health, social care, education and academic colleagues and other key stakeholders
  • to bring our Governance structures up to the standard of best practice.

To read more about how we will achieve each of these corporate objectives, please read this one-page Board Vision and Corporate Objectives September 2014 (88kb).


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Our purpose

To deliver safe, effective and personal healthcare for every patient, every time.


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Our strategy

It has long been the strategy of this Trust and our predecessor organisations to centralise acute services at Colchester General Hospital. Our biggest challenge is to continue to invest in services and improve quality and the patient experience against a backdrop of tightening public sector spending.
In this context, our priority remains frontline clinical services, especially patient safety and improving the patient experience.
There is no question of the Trust compromising on quality or standards. We are also committed to our programme of capital investments.
More details about the Trust's priorities are set out in our
Annual Plan. We are committed to working with our patients and clinical staff to do our best and to make service quality the best we can achieve.


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Our funding

In 2013/14 the Trust reported a deficit of £2.4m.

  • Surplus of £9.1m for 2012/13
  • Surplus of £12.3m for 2011/12
  • Surplus of £2.2m before fixed asset impairments of £4.9m, leaving a retained deficit of £2.7m for 2010/11
  • Surplus of £2.3m for 2009/10
  • Surplus of £13.8m for 2008/09
  • Surplus of £2.9m for 2007/08

Compared with the previous year, income increased by 3.5%, from £258m to £267m. This was higher than planned and resulted from higher than planned levels of activity, especially in relation to non-elective care.

Expenditure rose by 8.5% from £236m to £256m, and pay costs made up the majority of this increase (£13.6m). This increase was partly planned investment in nursing staff but was also impacted by an increased reliance on temporary staff which made up 12.7% of the total pay bill.


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Our staff

Our Trust is one of the largest employers in north east Essex, employing 4,380 (3,763 full-time equivalents) people on 31 March 2014. This has increased from 4,168 on 31 March 2013.

Our partners

The Trust works with a variety of public, private and voluntary stakeholders. We do this to develop a sustainable environment in which people will continue to enjoy high levels of health and wellbeing but with modern health and social care services available for those who need them. The Trust had formal contracts or service level agreements with third parties that provided some essential services. The main contractor was Serco for payroll services.


Our sites | Population | Services | FTstatus | Vision
Objectives | Purpose | Strategy | Funding | Partners | more

Find out more

You can read more about our vision, our strategy, the Trust's profile, and plans for the future on our Annual Plan pages.

You can read more about how we performed in previous years in our latest Annual Report, Accounts and Quality Accounts