Strategic objectives

  • Our patients – we will continue to improve the quality of care, outcomes and experiences that we provide our patients, integrating care with our partners and reducing health inequity in our local population
  • Our people – we will support our people to deliver high quality care within a compassionate and inclusive culture that continues to improve how we attract, recruit and retain all our people. Providing all our people with a better experience will be evidenced by improvements in our staff survey results
  • Our places – we will maintain the safety of and improve the quality and look of our places and will work with our partners to develop an outline business case (OBC) for a new hospital, aligned with the further development of our local Integrated Care Partnership
  • Our performance – we will meet and achieve our performance targets, covering national and local operational, quality and workforce indicators 
  • Our pounds – we will manage our pounds effectively to ensure that high quality care is provided in a financially sustainable way

Our performance

The quality of the healthcare we provide is assessed in a number of different ways. By knowing our performance, you can have confidence in our services and we can continue to make improvements to ensure you receive the best care possible.

We are assessed against a range of qualitative standards, which we and all NHS trusts should meet. While we continue to face several challenges, we have made significant improvements in some areas of our performance.

Our performance is measured by the following standards:

  • Emergency Care Standard (ECS) - four hour waiting times
  • Cancer Waiting Time Standards
  • 18 Week Waiting Time Standard - Referral to Treatment (RTT)
  • Delayed Transfers of Care (DTOC)
  • Cancelled operations

Please follow the link here to refer to an overview and Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection ratings. 

Quality improvement

Putting quality first is our approach in everything we do as we strive for excellence.

Our quality first team are passionate about quality improvement, making changes that will help us deliver excellence for our patients, people, performance, places and pounds.

This means we are driving the delivery of improvement and change for the benefit of our patients, people and wider community.

What we do

We support change across the trust by:

  • Analysing data and establishing evidence to support cases for improvement and change.
  • Identifying blockages in a patient's journey through our hospital so that delays in patient care can be prevented.
  • Coaching and mentoring each other to ensure we are all working to our full potential.
  • Challenging processes and accepted norms to encourage innovation by our colleagues. 
  • Working closely with our patients and stakeholders to ensure that all of our changes are beneficial to our community. 


You can contact the quality first team at or call 01279 444455 (x 2912).

Our mental health strategy

We are committed to making a difference to the way in which we support the mental health neMental Health Strategy graphiceds of our patie nts and their loved ones.

One in four adults and one in ten children will experience mental illness (NHS England) and our local population that we serve will have mental health needs whilst they are under our care.

That’s why we have developed an ambitious mental health strategy that sets out how we will improve mental health care for our patients, alongside providing services for their physical needs.

The plans within the strategy reflect what matters most to people who use our services, the people who care for them, our organisation’s partners and community providers.

You can read the full strategy via this link >

Our focus is to:

  • Improve the quality of care that we deliver to our patients who have mental health needs
  • Support our patients with long-term physical health conditions to identify and manage their mental health needs
  • Ensure that our people have the right skills and attitude to care for patients with mental health needs
  • Ensure that our people are confident and knowledgeable to recognise individual mental health needs and provide early intervention where required
  • Engage with voluntary services to further support our patients with mental health needs
  • Work collaboratively working with local system partners to enhance care and pathways
  • Ensure that our environments are quiet, clean, safe, and fit for purpose to reassure our patients with mental health needs
  • Enable our mental health partners to access our electronic documents and to ensure we have a joined-up approach to the care of our patients
  • Enable people to embrace conversations about mental health and wellbeing

Emergency preparedness

Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, we are required to plan for major incidents and put strategies in place to return to 'business as normal' as soon as possible after an event.


An emergency is an event that threatens human welfare or the environment, or a major security incident or threat such as a terrorist act or war. Emergencies could strike at any time, and our patients, service users, staff and others involved in our business could be severely affected by a major flood, fire, failure of utility services or severe weather such as heavy snow, heatwave or a period of very cold weather.

A major incident or emergency may also result in damage to an extent where facilities such as wards or clinics need to be evacuated, or conversely people may be required to stay inside a building for a period of time.

Emergency planning

This is the general term for work that the Government, the NHS, emergency services, local authorities etc. all routinely do to prepare for an emergency situation.

Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, we are required to plan for major incidents and put strategies in place to return to 'business as normal' as soon as possible after an event. This of course necessitates working with partner agencies to share information, participate in joint training and exercising and devise consistent plans for implementation in an emergency.

Our role

  • To have plans in place for major incidents and business continuity. We have a corporate major and critical incident plan, and individual service lines have their own business continuity plans to reflect their specific areas of operation.
  • To train our people to enable them to manage a major incident or emergency.
  • To actively participate in multi-agency partnership working with other interested parties i.e. local authorities, police, fire and rescue,  ambulance service, and the voluntary sector.
  • To share information with those who may be affected by our activities.
  • To warn, inform and advise the public about emergencies.

Partnership working

A major incident is something which by definition cannot be managed internally by us, so partnership working is absolutely vital to ensure that there is a coordinated response to emergency situations so that disruption to patients, service users, staff and other people affected by our activities is kept to a minimum. We fulfil our obligations in respect of partnership working by: 

  • Attending the Essex Resilience Forum. This is a multi-agency committee where emergency planning issues in Essex are discussed and coordinated responses agreed.
  • Participating in 'table-top' and live exercises in all three boroughs designed to test existing arrangements and identify where improvements are needed. 
  • Participating in NHS major incident meetings and training exercises.
  • Sharing information with partner agencies regarding threats to human welfare.
  • Reviewing and revising our major incident and business continuity plans in light of changing circumstances. 

Community risk register

Risks within Essex are documented in a Community Risk Register.  A risk level is assigned based on the likelihood that an incident may take place, and the potential impact it could have. This directs planning and ensures organisations are prepared for the emergencies or risks most likely to occur, and which will have the biggest impact. 

Trust risk register

The trust risk register works exactly in the same way as the community risk register i.e. identification of emergency situations or risks, an assessment of how likely they are, and an evaluation of their impact.  

Further information 

For further information on emergency planning and business continuity planning, please contact 

Partner organisations can view our current emergency plans via ResilienceDirect.

Inpatient comment:

Everyone offered words of such reassurance and kindness. I felt so cared for and the communication with me at all times was fantastic.