Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust

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Type of Trust
NHS hospital trust
Trust Details
Last annual budget £257 million
Chair Dr Sally Irvine
Chief Executive
Website Colchester Hospital
Care Quality Commission reports CQC
Monitor Monitor

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust provides healthcare services to around 370,000 people from Colchester and the surrounding area of north east Essex, England. In addition it provides radiotherapy and oncology services to a wider population of about 670,000 across north and mid-Essex. Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts, authorised Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust[1] to become an NHS foundation trust from 1 May 2008.

In 2016 it was announced that was to have a “long term partnership” with Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust and Nick Hulme, the Chief Executive of Ipswich, took charge of it. A future merger is contemplated.[2]


In 2007/08 the Trust employed 3,383 people, 86% of them directly involved in patient care.

Hospital sites[edit]

The Trust's main acute hospital site, which was opened in 1984, is Colchester General Hospital. The Trust also owns Essex County Hospital in Colchester, which was opened in 1820 and has two wards used for oncology (cancer) patients. The Trust also provides services at Halstead Hospital. At Harwich and Clacton community hospitals, both managed by NHS North East Essex (the PCT), the Trust provides maternity, minor injury and outpatient services.[3]


In 2009 the Chair of the Trust, Richard W. Bourne, was removed by Monitor because it was failing to meet clinical targets.[4]

In November 2013 the Care Quality Commission reported that it had found discrepancies between the hospital's cancer waiting time records and the information contained in patients' individual medical records. 22 out of 61 records showed people had been put "at risk of receiving care that was unsafe or not effective, due to delays in receiving appointments or treatment".[5] In November 2013 the Trust was placed in special measures by Monitor.[6] Gordon Coutts, the chief executive, who had been on sick leave announced on 18 December 2013 that he would not be returning to the post.[7] After an investigation it was concluded that the inaccuracies the hospital's cancer waiting times figures were caused by managerial incompetence rather than bullying of staff.[8]

In November 2014 the Trust declared a "major incident" following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission in which "safeguarding concerns" were raised. Interim chief executive Dr Lucy Moore said the focus was on "discharging patients."[9]

The trust was one of 26 responsible for half of the national growth in patients waiting more than four hours in accident and emergency over the 2014/5 winter.[10]

It spent 10.3% of its total turnover on agency staff in 2014/5.[11]

It expects a deficit of £30 million for 2015/6.[12] In the last quarter of 2015 it had one of the worst performances of any hospital in England against the four hour waiting target.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Special measures trust's problems 'worse than I thought', says new chief". Health Service Journal. 25 July 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Colchester hospital boss sacked for poor performance". BBC News. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Hospital faces claim of cancer care cover-up". The Guardian. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Colchester hospital placed in special measures". BBC News. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "Colchester chief executive resigns". Health Service Journal. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Colchester Hospital cancer data errors 'incompetence not bullying'". BBC News. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Colchester Hospital declares 'major incident'". News. 15 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  10. ^ "26 trusts responsible for half of national A&E target breach". Health Service Journal. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Agency spending: the real picture". Health Service Journal. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  12. ^ "Emergency savings drive and stretch targets fail to reduce provider deficit". Health Service Journal. 28 September 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  13. ^ "Thirty worst A&E trusts called to London summit". Health Service Journal. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016. 

External links[edit]