Why choose us as an employer

At Our Best logo

In March 2011, to aid promoting its vision, the Trust started a programme called At Our Best to inspire, support and develop all staff to consistently deliver the very best patient experience.

But it isn't just a programme about patients. It is also one that wants to inspire staff and to listen to their concerns.

Here are 12 reasons to choose our Trust if you want to work for us.

  1. Our patients recommend us We receive thousands of compliments every year from our patients. Read some here.
  2. 'Investors in People' Our Trust was awarded the Investors in People standard in 2004. People are an organisation's greatest asset, and for an organisation to succeed everyone has to perform well. To achieve this, people need the right knowledge, skills and motivation to work efficiently which Investors in People does.
  3. Travelling to work support
    • We have a car sharing scheme for staff. Intranet link (only accessible on Trust computer.)
    • Free Staff Hopper Bus runs every 30 minutes between Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital
    • 50% discount on local bus travel (FirstGroup Essex travel card). Unlimited half-price travel throughout Essex
    • Lease cars, operated through NHS Fleet Car Solutions. Intranet link (only accessible on Trust computer.) This salary sacrifice scheme allows Trust employees to access a car of their choice at attractive prices. No deposit is required and all routine servicing and repair costs plus insurance are included in the monthly charge. Usually leased over three years, employees have the option to purchase the car at the end of the lease period. For more information visit
    • Secure cycle storage and shower facilities for cyclists
    • And we offer tax exemption on bicycles and safety equipment, through Cyclescheme, a salary sacrifice benefit offered by the Trust. With a network of over 1,700 bike shops to choose from, employees can be sure to find the bike for them. Bikes are paid for over 12 months, direct from the employees salary, with a small redemption fee payable at the end of the hire period. For more information visit
  4. We are an NHS Foundation Trust The Trust gained Foundation status in May 2008. It gives us more freedom to better address the needs of the population we serve and also enable patients, members of the public, our staff and partner organisations, such as primary care trusts, local authorities, universities and the voluntary sector, to have a greater say in how the Trust is run.
  5. Improving Working Lives 'Practice Plus' status Our Trust took a major step towards becoming an employer of choice by achieving 'Practice Plus' status in 2006. This is the final stage of accreditation under Improving Working Lives, a national initiative which involves NHS employers demonstrating a commitment to their employees.
  6. On-site day nursery at Colchester General Hospital. Run by Nanna's Nursery it's solely for the children of Trust employees provides high-quality discounted childcare for the under 5s. Open between 6.30am-6.30pm, its flexible hours benefit staff working early or late shifts. We also offer Childcare Vouchers run through Edenred, our Childcare Voucher scheme allows parents to have up to a maximum of £243 per month of their salary (dependent upon tax bracket) converted into Childcare Vouchers. Treated as a salary sacrifice scheme, the vouchers can be used to pay for any Ofsted registered childcare, including nurseries, childminders, after school clubs and holiday clubs. For more information visit
  7. On-site facilities
    Colchester General Hospital: Restaurant, tea bars, cash machine and League of Friends' shops. Bus services come right into the grounds at Colchester General Hospital. Nearby is a 24-hr Asda with a petrol station and pharmacy.
    Essex County Hospital: Restaurant and League of Friends' tea bar. Bus services stop just outside Essex County Hospital.
  8. Personal development and study is actively encouraged The Trust recognises the importance of career development and enhancement. The best way to guarantee the best patient care is by ensuring that all staff have access to continued education and development.
    We understand and actively support our staff with their individual learning needs through regular appraisals and personal development plans.
    The Trust maintains its research and educational links with the University of Essex as well as the Eastern and London Deaneries. We achieved Associate University Hospital status in 2007, meaning that the extra research, education and training this gains us provides enhanced benefits to patients and staff.
    We are able to offer access to further education through our Post Graduate Medical Centre at Colchester General Hospital.
    We also enable our staff to attend continuously develop to ensure an improved standard of care. To this end we also work closely with Anglia Ruskin University which provides a large amount of education on our behalf.
  9. Comprehensive Occupational Health and health surveillance service. Plus our employees get:
    • Access to NHS Discounts on a range of goods and services
    • Help with finding accommodation
    • Dedicated team of different faith support services with a prayer area on site at Colchester General Hospital
    • As well as maternity leave we also offer paternity leave and parental leave schemes
    • And a whole load more.
  10. Annual Leave All employees receive 27 days per annum annual leave, increasing to 29 days after five years and 33 days after ten years (pro rata for part time), plus 8 Public Holidays.
  11. NHS Pension. We offer membership of the NHS Pension Scheme , one of the best contributory pension schemes available. When you retire from the NHS Pension Scheme you will get a pension and a lump sum that is normally tax-free.
  12. Read more here: Staff benefits document.