The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust includes the Countess of Chester Hospital – a 550-bed hospital which provides the full range of acute and specialist services, and Ellesmere Port Hospital – a rehabilitation, intermediate and outpatient facility. In January 2022, the Trust agreed to take a lease on Tarporley War Memorial Hospital which is located 12 miles outside Chester in the village of Tarporley. The Trust began refurbishing the site in early 2022 in preparation to utilise the hospital as a base for community-based services to serve the local rural population from April 2022 onwards.
The Trust employs over 5,200 staff (including temporary bank staff) and provides acute emergency and elective services, primary care direct access services and obstetric services to a population of approximately 343,000 residents in Chester and West Cheshire which includes rural areas, Ellesmere Port and Neston as well as the Deeside area of Flintshire which has a population of just over 50,000. In 2021/2022 there were more than 516,000 inpatient and outpatient attendances at the hospital, ranging from a simple outpatient appointment to major cancer surgery. This is an increase of over 90,000 attendances compared to the previous year.
The Trust provides services to West Cheshire and Welsh patients covered by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.
The Trust was authorised as a Foundation Trust in 2004. Foundation Trusts were established as public benefit corporations and operate as independent public institutions which are not subject to direction by the Secretary of State for Health or the performance management requirements of the Department of Health. As a Foundation Trust, we set our own strategy within the framework of contracts with our commissioners of health services and other regulatory bodies to continually improve the quality and safety of patient care. We work closely with our local health system partners in the Wirral and Cheshire area and our local communities.
The Countess of Chester Hospital is arranged into three clinical divisions: Urgent Care, Planned Care and Diagnostics and Pharmacy, with support services which include estates, facilities, human resources, corporate services, finance, and information technology.
The Trust has signed up to a 'Purpose Coalition' to provide equal opportunities in care and recruitment, among other areas. The Countess will produce a Levelling Up Impact Report to measure its impact against 14 'Levelling Up Goals'. The Levelling Up Impact Report will highlight best practice at the Countess of Chester and identify where more can be done to promote equality in health outcomes in the communities it serves.
The Countess of Chester Hospital is the host of the Cheshire West Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) which focuses on developing integrated care in health and social care. 8 For the local NHS, along with Cheshire West and Chester Council, it represents the evolution of our work over recent years. By joining up services which are currently provided separately, we can make better patient decisions by pooling experience, expertise, and resources. By focussing on preventing ill-health and unnecessary hospital admissions we can ensure local services are sustainable for the future.
The Countess of Chester works collaboratively within the wider Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership.
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