Who We Are


You’ll be part of a team providing healthcare services to around 370,000 people from Colchester and the surrounding area of north east Essex and south Suffolk. In addition, we provide radiotherapy and oncology services to a wider population of about 670,000 people across north and mid-Essex. There are also outpatient and maternity services at community hospitals in Clacton, Harwich and Halstead.

Colchester General Hospital opened in 1984. There are 562 inpatient beds (general and anaesthetic), 44 maternity beds (including at Clacton and Harwich hospitals) and 13 critical care beds. The Trust is transferring all services and departments off the Essex County Hospital site by 2017/18. Chemotherapy moved to the General in 2013 and the Radiotherapy Department relocated in 2014 to a brand-new £25m Radiotherapy Centre. The two cancer wards moved to the General site in 2014.

Our pathology laboratory services transferred to the Pathology Partnership in 2014 although some of our staff are still based at the Severalls Hospital site and in the microbiology department near Colchester General Hospital.

The Trust also provides some services, such as outpatient, maternity, at the community hospitals in Clacton, Harwich and Halstead.

Each year nearly 500,000 people attend outpatient clinics and around 79,000 patients visit A&E. We treat some 90,000 inpatients and we deliver around 3,800 babies.
Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust, Turner Road, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5JL, (Google map).

Looking forward

We’ve already taken positive steps to address issues raised by regulators and we have a clear improvement plan.

We now have stronger clinical leadership and will continue to invest in the training and professional development of our nurses. With so much to do, this is a great time to make your mark.

Our Performance


Getting better

Despite the Trust being in “special measures” with the regulator Monitor since November 2013, our Board of Directors is focused and determined in its goal of improving the quality of its services at pace.

After our formal four-day CQC inspection in September 2015, we took immediate action to make real improvements – hiring more doctors and nurses, reducing the number of people waiting for procedures in areas such as dermatology, and introducing new levels of maintenance for equipment. As a result, complaints started to fall.

The CQC report published in January 2016 said the Trust employed staff who were “highly motivated and were working through many issues to drive improvements locally.” We want our clinicians and teams to harness that enthusiasm and motivation and ensure that we are all working together in harmony to get out of special measures.

Long term success has to be built on clinical leadership, staff engagement and a clear narrative for the future of patient care that staff, stakeholders and the public understand. In early 2016, we began a new organisational development programme that will see us link with the NHS Leadership Academy and build on the work we have already instigated, developing relationships with organisations such as Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, St Helena Hospice and others.

This is supported by our friends and family survey where over 90% of the people we serve would recommend us to their friends and family.

Innovation In Healthcare

Leading the way

Among the many developments, the following are of note since 2014:

• two laparoscopic (keyhole surgery) operating theatres were upgraded in a £788,000 project. The work included buying new scopes and fitting the theatres with high-definition equipment, with the capability to be upgraded for 3D technology

• an echocardiography service, which uses ultrasound to diagnose heart problems, was started at the Fryatt Hospital, Harwich.

• our surgeons became among the first in the UK to use laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery to operate on patients with bladder cancer.

• the Growth Assisted Protocol (GAP) programme was introduced across north east Essex to help minimise the number of stillbirths.

• a new unit opened to speed up the assessment and treatment of patients who may need surgery. The £455,000 Surgical Assessment Unit takes referrals directly from GPs from all over north east Essex and also stable surgical patients from the hospital’s Emergency Department

• a retinal suite was created at Essex County Hospital to provide a “one-stop shop” service for the growing number of patients with retinal disease, the most common of which is age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

• endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) was introduced following an investment of £132,000. Previously, this service was not available in north east Essex

• the Trust appointed an additional (sixth) consultant colorectal surgeon with a special interest in Pelvic Floor Disorders (PFD).

• we increased the size and improved the layout of the main outpatient department at Colchester General Hospital.

• a Urology Day Unit was established following an investment of £250,000 in extra staff and equipment.

At Our Best every day

Working at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust means caring with pride. Together we’re making positive changes day in, day out. We strive to be professional, involving, welcoming and responsive. This is an environment where we look after patients and look after each other with the same care and respect. It’s a challenge, but the rewards are enormous. Imagine going home at the end of each shift, confident that you and your team have done a great job. That’s what it’s like to be at your best, every day.

Infection rates

It is our policy to screen all emergency admissions for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) when they are admitted to our hospitals. We are proud there has only been one MRSA bacteraemias case since May 2010.

Waiting times & staffing levels

The Trust have over 7,000 Accident & Emergency department attendances each year 90.89% of them were seen, treated or discharged within the four hour standard. Of all the urgent suspected cancer referrals, 90.8% met the two-week maximum wait from GP urgent referral to first outpatient appointment.

Innovation In Healthcare


Leading the way

We pride ourselves on innovation. Our investment in cutting-edge medical technology and advanced care facilities means better services for our patients and career-building experience for our staff. These are just some recent developments.

  • Our new £25m state-of-the-art Radiotherapy Centre at Colchester General Hospital has started treating patients.
  • A £2.8m project to expand the capacity of the A&E department and to improve patient flows. It included a new reception, waiting and triage area, doubling the number of resuscitation bays from three to six, a new children’s unit and an expanded majors area.
  • We’ve invested £250,000 in cardiac ultrasound equipment to take diagnostic 3D images of the heart.
  • Colchester General was one of the first hospitals in the country to carry out laparoscopic procedures (keyhole surgery) routinely. Today the unit carries out more advanced keyhole surgery than anywhere else in the UK, and is pioneering use of 3D technology.
  • A £1.2m project to install two robots in the pharmacy at Colchester General Hospital will speed up dispensing and reduce the likelihood of medication errors.
  • The two bereavement suites at Colchester General Hospital, which are used by people after the death of loved one, were extensively refurbished in order to create a more homely, softer and sympathetic environment.
  • A new £455,000 Surgical Assessment Unit (SAU) unit has opened at Colchester General Hospital to speed up the assessment and treatment of patients referred directly both by GPs and the hospital’s Emergency Department (A&E).
  • The Iceni Centre is a joint venture between our Trust and Anglia Ruskin University providing a state of the art learning and teaching centre for laparoscopic surgery. Doctors from all around the world undertake training in laparoscopic procedures in our specialised skills labs.

At Our Best Every Day


Working with Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust means nursing and midwifery with pride. Together we’re making positive changes day in, day out. We strive to be professional, involving, welcoming and responsive. This is an environment where we look after patients and look after each other with the same care and respect. It’s a challenge, but the rewards are enormous. Imagine going home at the end of each shift, confident that you and your team have done a great job. That’s what it’s like to be at your best, every day.