About the Press Office

Contacting the Press Office of our Trust*

During office hours please contact:
Mark Prentice | Head of External Relations
Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust
Trust HQ | Colchester General Hospital
Tel. 01206 742752 during office hours

Out of hours calls that cannot wait until the next working day: via switchboard on 01206 747474

Condition checks

'Condition checks' will only be given out if you have the name of the individual patient concerned, with the correct spelling. Please do not contact the wards direct. For an up-to-date condition check, please contact the Site Matron via switchboard (01206 747474), giving your name, organisation and telephone number. The Site Matron will contact the appropriate Ward or Department and establish the condition of the patient in question. Only a brief indication of the progress of the patient will be given such as, the patient is 'satisfactory' or 'stable' or 'critically ill'.

Patient confidentiality

We place great emphasis on the need for the strictest confidentiality in respect of our patients. We will not divulge any information about a patient unless we are given permission from the individual or their next of kin. All requests for interviewing/photographing patients must be made through the Communications team.

Press releases and news stories

All our latest news and press releases are available on our website.

Arranging interviews with Trust* staff

Under no circumstances may interviews, filming or photography be carried out on or around our hospital sites without the express permission of the Communications team.

If you carry out any filming or photographing without permission, our security team will request that you leave the site. If you need further information on any news stories, or would like to arrange an interview, please contact our Press Officer on the numbers above.

Major Incidents

Should a major incident occur, the Trust has a contingency plan that includes arrangements for the media. A Press Centre will be established at the hospital, which is close to the main entrance. This will be set up for press conferences, and will be equipped with telephone lines, working space, and facilities for tea and coffee making. Journalists will be given regular updates on the situation, and the opportunity for interviews. Depending on the type of incident, we will decide at the time on the best vantage point for photographs and filming.

* = Hospitals owned and run by Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust:

This page explains which organisations run Fryatt Hospital in Dovercourt, Harwich, Clacton and District Hospital and Halstead Hospital. These three hospitals are NOT run by Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust

Communications and Engagement Strategy

Here is the Trust's Communications and Engagement Strategy, updated 11 April 2014.