Frequently Asked Questions about our Trust

Updated 9 November 2016 (Wi-Fi)


I have an enquiry about treatment/appointment

I'm looking for a patient

What is your Wi-Fi?

I want to send flowers

I'm looking for staff or a department

I'm looking for something

I'm looking for family history information

I would like to find out more about research at this Trust

Tell me about recruitment or being a volunteer

Tell me about making a work experience request

I have other questions

I have an enquiry about my treatment/appointment

To rearrange or cancel your appointment.

I was referred to one of your hospitals but haven't heard when my appointment will be

Your GP should be able to keep you informed about the appointment as your GP is your point of contact with the hospital in these situations. Or try emailing

How can I find out about waiting times at your hospital?

Part of the NHS pledge to put patients at the centre of everything they do involves making sure that you are diagnosed and start treatment as soon as possible, at a time that is convenient for you. Have a look at the NHS Choices website for the info you require. It does not give waiting times for urgent appointments/admissions.

What if my NHS surgery or operation is cancelled at the last minute?

If we cancel your operation, we will offer you a new date for your operation. Read the national guidance on the NHS Choices website.

How can I contact your Patient Advice & Liaison Service?

See our PALS page.

I need treatment now. Is there a Walk In Centre nearby?

Yes. North Colchester Healthcare Centre. And here is some general information about NHS Walk In Centres.

I have a sexual health problem

Please go to our sexual health (genito-urinary) page for further advice.

I have a contraception question

Please go to our contraception page for further advice.

How can I register with a GP?

If you are living in an area for more than three months you should register with a local GP. Contact your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) who deal with these enquiries. For instance, North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group.

I'm visiting the UK. Will I have to pay for treatment?

Not every NHS treatment in England is free of charge. There are, for example, charges for dental treatment and, for non-UK residents, charges for hospital treatments. If you are an overseas visitor to the UK you may be charged for some treatments and, depending on how urgent it is, you will usually have to pay in advance. Information for overseas visitors to the UK.

I've been living outside the UK for more than 3 months. Will I have to pay for treatment?

Yes, you may have to pay for hospital treatment whilst here, even if you are a British citizen. Information for overseas visitors to the UK.

You will not be covered for healthcare paid for by the UK if you are going to live permanently outside the European Economic Area (EEA). If at any time in the future you want to come back to the UK for planned treatment, you must consult your new authorities to find out the options available to you. However, you will be charged in the UK, unless you can provide specific documentation issued by your country of residence under European reciprocal arrangements. Moving abroad: planning for your healthcare.

I wish to complain

Visit the Complaints section.

I want to give a compliment or feedback

Visit our compliments and feedback page for more information on how to let us know how we are doing.

For general information

For general information or enquiries, send an email to:

I'm looking for a patient

I want to phone a ward

If possible try and phone the patient direct via their Hospedia personalised phone number - see below. See our Colchester General Hospital wards and Essex County Hospital departments.

Can I phone the patient on their mobile phone?

Some wards now allow patients to take in a mobile phone, but check first because in some wards it could interfere with sensitive medical equipment. Mobile phones can also disturb other people, so patients should follow the signs which indicate where they can be used. If a patient is prohibited from using a mobile phone, they can make and receive phone calls on the Hospedia system

I want to phone a patient direct using Hospedia

If you don't know the personalised phone number of a patient in our hospital, call Hospedia for free on: 0345 414 1234, or visit Hospedia website.

I want to send an email message to an inpatient

Send a message to an inpatient at Colchester General Hospital.

I want to send flowers to a patient

Check with ward staff about patients having cut flowers by the bedside. Often, vases with water in them can be a hazard as they can get in the way of clinical equipment. Also, some patients on certain wards have respiratory problems which could be made worse by pollen. An attractive alternative is a pot plant or silk flowers. Use a search engine such as Google and type in "flowers uk" for a list of companies that will deliver flowers, pot plant or silk flowers to the hospital. They will need the hospital's postcode:

Colchester General Hospital: CO4 5JL

I'm looking for staff or a department

What are our main department's phone numbers?

Visit our page about rearrange or cancel your appointment which includes our main department's phone numbers.

What is the email convention if I want to email a member of your staff?

It is:

I want the phone number of a member of staff or department

Call switchboard day or night on 01206 747474.

I want to contact a hospital social worker

You can contact a social worker through our Health Assessment Team. Phone via Switchboard 01206 747474.

I want information about a consultant

Please email our Human Resources team:

I want to contact your Finance or Accounts Payable department

Here is a link to our Finance and Procurement page.

I want to make a donation to the hospital

Visit our Charitable donations.

I want need to contact other staff not detailed above

Please email:

How can I contact a governor or board director?

Go to these pages to find out more about governors or board directors.

I'm looking for something

Where are our hospitals?

To find specific information on our hospital sites, go to our Visitors page.

I'm looking for a document

For the latest annual report, Trust magazine, or summary business plan go to our Publications page. Or look on our Freedom of Information pages, which also has an archive of documents we've published.

I'm researching my family history. My relative was born/ treated/ died at your hospital

Although some of our hospitals are quite old our record retention policy means we do not keep any medical/healthcare records beyond a maximum of 25 years. This is all explained in detail in our Freedom of Information pages. See question below also.

I need to access my patient records

Go to the How to apply for healthcare records access page.

Does Colchester General Hospital have public Wi-Fi (Wifi)?

Yes it does. And it's free! More here.

Recruitment and careers | Come and join us!

Recruitment and careers questions are answered here along with all our current vacancies.

Being a volunteer or doing work experience

We are grateful to people when they offer us their time, whether as a volunteer or to do a job shadowing placement (unpaid work experience). You can find out more here .

I would like to find out more about research

Please visit our Research and Innovation page.

Other questions

None of these are the question I want to ask!

Email your question to: and we'll do our best to answer it.