Who we are

About Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dorset County Hospital sits at the heart of the community as the main provider of acute care to around 250,000 people in the west of Dorset.

With an annual budget of £256 million, we provide a full range of district general services, including an Emergency Department, Critical Care Unit and Maternity Unit, and links with satellite units in Dorset’s community hospitals.

We also provide renal services for patients throughout Dorset and South Somerset a total population of 850,000.

We were founded on our current site in the centre of the county town of Dorchester in 1987 and achieved Foundation Trust status in 2007.

Our hospital has approximately 350 beds, seven main theatres and two day theatres, and has been designed with a major commitment to Public Arts in Hospital.

Our 3,500 staff come from a wide range of backgrounds, working across GP surgeries, schools, in residential homes and in people’s own homes as well as DCH and the community hospitals.

We also work closely with our health and social care partners to ensure integrated services are provided to our population.

For many of our roles, we encourage and receive applications from people across the world and are proud to employ such a large and diverse workforce.

We are a key partner in the Dorset Integrated Care System ‘Our Dorset’ and our own Trust Strategy aligns with the next steps for the ICS, acknowledging that it must also be unique to the needs and requirements of our patients and population.

We are focusing on three strategic themes: People, Place and Partnership.

These themes have been created out of the learning from engagement and acknowledgement of local challenges, and capture the ambitions that we want to achieve as a Trust.


Putting our people first to make DCH
a great place to work and receive care.


Delivering outstanding care by building
a better and healthier place for our patients
and population.


Working together to ensure outstanding services, accessible to our patients and population.

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About Dorset HealthCare NHS Foundation Trust

At Dorset HealthCare we like to do things differently and that’s one of the reasons the CQC rated us ‘outstanding’ in 2019. It’s been a journey of constant improvement from being in breach of our licence to this top rating in under five years.

Constantly striving to develop and improve is in our DNA – in fact it’s the cornerstone of our vision to be better every day through excellence, compassion and expertise in all we do.

We’ve developed quickly by being progressive and innovative, and the pandemic response has further embedded our drive to transform our services and embrace new ways of working, with a ‘digital first’ mindset.

We’re a large, varied and geographically spread organisation with a budget of £342 million per year. We have almost 7,000 staff working hard to provide physical, mental health and learning disability services to 800,000 residents of Dorset, plus some in Hampshire. Our workforce includes everyone from district nurses to dieticians, wellbeing practitioners to psychiatrists, cleaners to IT technicians and a great deal more – and our colleagues are critical to our success.

Our mission is to provide integrated healthcare services that support people to make the most of their lives.

For our patients, that means person-centred care – provided seamlessly across organisational boundaries with our partners in health, social care and the community and voluntary sector – giving the best possible experience and outcomes.

For our staff, that means being empowered and supported to succeed in their role with the best possible experience and the chance to develop and grow in a range of rewarding careers.

Our Trust strategy Better Together reflects our commitment to that team effort, both within our own organisation and with our partners.

Our strategic aims help us direct our efforts towards improving and maintaining the health and wellbeing of local people:

Outstanding quality services:

We have a relentless focus on providing the best quality services for the people we serve.

Healthy lives:

We take a population-based approach to planning our services, working in partnership with others in the health and care system and putting local people at the heart of shaping services.

Maximising value and sustainability:

We make the best use of our finances and our buildings and reduce environmental impact.

Best place to work:

We have a compassionate, inclusive and open culture to empower staff to do their best work, striving to retain and develop our workforce and attract the right people.

Under this banner our journey continues as we develop even closer collaborations with our partners and with our communities to improve health and wellbeing for everyone in our area.

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