Enquiries: 01305 251150

Updated 10 May 2024

Our mission

Outstanding care for people in ways which matter to them.

Our vision

Dorset County Hospital, working with our health and social care partners, will be at the heart of improving the wellbeing of our communities.​​​

Our values

The first step in our People Strategy was to agree our Trust values.  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 - The DCH Way, that’s what we all expect to see in each other and the way that we pledge to behave as we go about our work within the Trust. 

As work continues, we will see our values becoming part of everything that we do, including recruitment, appraisal, Trust induction and leadership development. 

Trust profile

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. Our 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 of district general services, including an Emergency Department, and links with satellite units in five community hospitals.

We are the main provider of acute hospital services to a population of around 300,000, living within Weymouth and Portland, the west and north of Dorset, and Purbeck. We also provide renal services for patients throughout Dorset and South Somerset; a total population of 850,000.

Our 3,500 members of staff work across various locations, including the main hospital in Dorchester, GP surgeries, schools, residential homes, people’s own homes and in the community hospitals.

Dorset County Hospital has around 380 beds, seven main theatres and two day theatres, and has been designed with a major commitment to public art.

Brief history of Dorset County Hospital

Plans were developed in the early 1980s for a modern facility to replace the old Dorchester Hospital at a new site to the west of the town centre, on the land between Damers Road and Bridport Road. 

Construction took place in phases with the first phase on the north part of the site completed in the late 1980s under the name of West Dorset County Hospital. The second phase on the south part of the site completed in the mid-1990s at which time the who site became the Dorset County Hospital. The hospital was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 8 May 1998. 

2015 marked 175 years of Dorset County Hospital and was celebrated with the publication of 'Dorset County Hospital 175 Years of Rural Healthcare 1840 - 2015' by Mark Collyer. The book provides a broad overview of the hospital's 175 years, telling individual stories and giving a fascinating insight into hospital life. You can read the book online here.