Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
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About Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dorset County Hospital was established in 1991 as part of a long–term project to bring together all the local services for acutely ill patients onto one hospital site. The new hospital, just outside Dorchester town centre, was completed in 1997. We were awarded Foundation Trust status in June 2007. Our busy, modern hospital provides a full range – 
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Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s purpose is to deliver compassionate and safe healthcare to our patients. We are the acute and specialist healthcare provider for our communities, delivering high quality care to meet our patients’ expectations. Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (“the Trust”) achieved Foundation Trust status on 1 June 2007 under the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003. The Trust took over the responsibilities, staff and facilities of its predecessor organisation, West Dorset General Hospitals NHS Trust. The Trust is the main provider of acute hospital care to the residents of West Dorset, North Dorset, Weymouth and Portland, a population of approximately 215,000 people. It also provides specialist services to the whole of Dorset and beyond including renal services in Bournemouth and Poole, and South Somerset. It serves an area with a higher than average elderly population and lower than average proportion of school aged children. Dorset continues to experience an increasing total population. The main hospital site is situated close to the centre of the county town of Dorchester. It opened in 1987 and is a modern, attractive 365 bed hospital. Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is an ambitious and progressive organisation with a vision that is focused on delivering compassionate and safe healthcare.

Our Values

We launched our values - The DCH Way - after seeking input from staff throughout the organisation. Thanks to the feedback we received, each of our values—Integrity, Respect, Teamwork, Excellence— truly reflect what we all feel is most important. Underpinning each of our values is a set of behaviours that we all sign up to—what we all expect to see in each other and the way that we pledge to behave as we go about our work each day.

​Living in West Dorset

West Dorset with its outstanding scenery and rugged coastline is a most enjoyable part of the country, characterised by a number of small towns, each with a distinct identity. Covering a large geographical area (670 square miles), its coastline is protected by World Heritage as a site of outstanding natural beauty. The hospital is a short walk away from Dorchester, the traditional county town of West Dorset, made famous by the novels of Thomas Hardy. The town has a quiet centre, although with the influx of people relocating from London, Essex, the Midlands and Home Counties, new shops and restaurants are starting to open adding to the mix of modern and traditional. Acute Care is delivered on the main Dorchester Hospital site and is based in the Ilchester Integrated Assessment Unit. The hospital is close to the town and is on one site. It is easily accessed by bus and rail networks and there is parking on site. For more information see
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