Updated 30 August 2013
Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust has two main sites: Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital. The Trust provides healthcare services to around 370,000 people from Colchester and the surrounding area of north east Essex.
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 has two wards used for oncology (cancer) patients.
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).
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. Our new £25m state-of-the-art radiotherapy centre being built at Colchester General Hospital should start treating its first patients in early 2014. It will replace the current radiotherapy centre at Essex County Hospital.
A new service for major arterial vascular surgery began in July 2012 for the 750,000 population of north east Essex, east Suffolk and the Colne Valley. Anyone from that area requiring the most complex vascular surgery, either as an emergency or elective (planned) procedure, now has their operation at a new centre at Colchester General Hospital.
You can read more about the population we serve in our latest Annual Report.
Our NHS Foundation Trust status
You can read more here about how we achieved our NHS foundation trust status in 2008.
The vision is summarised as:
To be widely recognised as the Trust that our patients and staff would want to recommend to their friends and relatives.
The priorities that will help deliver the vision are:
- inspiring our employees - developing a culture that engages our employees in the business, promotes clear values and behaviours, underpinned by leadership styles of openness and involvement; which recognises and rewards the contribution of individuals
- doing the core services well - maintaining and enhancing our reputation as a safe, capable and efficient Trust, delivering high quality standards
- strengthening our centres of excellence - supporting existing high-performing services and developing others to serve the local population and beyond
- shaping the future; ready to respond - identifying a small number of policy areas of importance to the Trust and to seek to influence these as appropriate; strengthen horizon-scanning capability and have a flexible and dynamic ability to respond to opportunities
- building a sustainable future - supporting our long-term future and ability to improve facilities and services by optimising our surplus/ contribution from clinical income; and building and growing our non-clinical income
We use a Net Promoter Score (NPS) - a customer loyalty metric showing how many "promoters" and "detractors" there are - to try and measure patients' willingness to recommend the Trust to their friends and family. NPS can be as low as ?100 (everybody is a detractor) or as high as +100 (everybody is a promoter). An NPS that is positive (i.e. higher than zero) is felt to be good, and an NPS of +50 is excellent. Our Trust's NPS is currently hovering around the +80 mark.
See also our "Friends and Family test" page which indicates "How likely patients would be to recommend us to their friends and family?"
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.
In 2012/13 the Trust achieved a surplus of £9.1m
- 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
In 2012/13, compared with the previous year, income increased by 5.5%, from £244m to £257.5m. This was higher than planned and resulted from higher than planned levels of activity and one-off funding from NHS North East Essex (the PCT) for major capital expenditure.
Our Trust is one of the largest employers in north east Essex, employing 4,168 people on 31 March 2013. This has slightly increased from 4,163 on 31 March 2012.
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.
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