About us


Dorset HealthCare is responsible for community and mental health services across Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset. The Trust also provides Steps to Wellbeing services in Southampton. We are one of the largest providers of healthcare in Dorset, and our services continually evolve and develop to meet the needs of the local community. Our annual income is around £373 million.

This is an exciting time to join Dorset HealthCare as we develop our federated model with our acute partner trust Dorset County Hospital, including a joint strategy being published soon and shared leadership arrangements.

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 £373 million per year. We have around 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.

Our services include:

  • Dorset’s community hospitals
  • Adult and children’s community health services (physical and mental health)
  • Specialist learning disability services
  • Community brain injury services
  • Integrated Urgent Care Services

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.

CQC Inspections for Dorset HealthCare

Dorset HealthCare has been rated ‘outstanding’ by England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals after making significant improvements to the quality of services for patients.

A team of inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited in April and June 2019 to check the quality of four mental health and two community health care services.

They also looked specifically at management and leadership to assess whether the Trust is well-led.

As a result the Trust is now rated as ‘outstanding’ for being caring and well led, and is rated ‘good’ for safe, effective and responsive.

Overall this moves the Trust up from its previous rating of ‘good’.

Vision, values and behaviours

At the heart of Dorset Healthcare is  being Better Every Day. This guides us in all that we do and provides a single common thought that applies to the experience and outcomes of our patients and our staff.

For everyone who connects with Dorset HealthCare and its services, whether a patient, partner or member of staff, we want them to have that sense of improvement, and know that every day, even the smallest changes are enabling us to be better for the people we serve.

Alongside this is our vision. Renewed in early 2015 that sets out our ambition for the future, and provides us with a single common purpose so that we are all guided and inspired by the same longer-term aspiration for the Trust.

Our vision, purpose and values have been shaped by our staff.

Together, they support all of us to stay focused on what’s important overall, underpinned by the core behaviours that outline what we expect of ourselves and each other.

We’ll be launching our refreshed strategy in August 2024 which will set out our new vision and mission statement.

Our vision and purpose

Our vision is:

To be Better Every Day through excellence, compassion and expertise in all we do.

Our vision is that Dorset HealthCare will lead and inspire both locally and nationally. Our ambition is to inspire patients, partners, local people and professionals alike, by achieving excellent clinical outcomes, supporting people with compassion and kindness, and by being experts in our roles.

We are also guided by a clear statement of purpose. Our purpose sets out what we do and why we do it, and helps everyone to feel part of the same organisation when we deliver such a diversity of services.

Our purpose is:

  • To provide integrated healthcare services to empower people to make the most of their lives
  • We care when you’re unwell, we support your recovery and we give you the knowledge and confidence to stay as healthy as possible.
Our values

Our values are:

  • Working together for patients
  • Respect and dignity
  • Commitment to quality of care
  • Compassion
  • Improving lives
  • Everyone counts
  • Commitment to learning.

Our core behaviours provide a guide for how we can bring our values to life. You can read more about those below.

Our behaviours

At Dorset HealthCare, we have created a set of core behaviours to remind us that how we do things is as important as what we do and achieve. These behaviours set out what we expect of ourselves and each other.

We aim to always be:

  • Supportive
  • Proactive
  • Respectful
  • Positive
  • Reliable and Trustworthy.

Although this is not a comprehensive list of behaviours that we would like to demonstrate within the organisation, these are the behaviours that people working for and with the organisation identified as important for them, and they are the behaviours we hope everyone will experience at Dorset HealthCare.