About us header graphic

About us

We are one of the largest hospital trusts in England, with five hospitals and community clinics serving a local population of around 695,000 people. We also provide some specialist services for a wider population, including renal services in Medway and Maidstone and a cardiac service for all of Kent based at William Harvey Hospital, Ashford.

Our vision is 'great healthcare from great people'. Everything we do is guided by our vision and values

We have a national and international reputation for delivering high quality specialist care, particularly in urology, kidney disease, and vascular services.

We value and pursue excellence in research and innovation. Our Trust has been ranked first in Kent for clinical research studies, as well as consistently recruiting high numbers of patients into research trials. As a teaching Trust we play a vital role in the education and training of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, working closely with local universities and Kings College University in London.

To find out what's happening at EKHUFT, visit our news page or follow us on social media.

Our priorities

We are focusing on five priorities to continue to transform our Trust and deliver our vision of great healthcare, from great people:

  • We care about our patients
  • We care about our people
  • We care about our future
  • We care about our sustainability
  • We care about our quality and safety.

Read our two-year Improvement Plan

Graphic of our mission, vision and values

Our 'We care' philosophy

What is ‘We care’?

‘We care’ is how we’re working to give great care to every patient, every day. It’s about being clear about what we want to focus on and why, and supporting staff to make real improvements, by training, coaching and everyone using one, standard method to make positive changes.

We know that frontline staff are best placed to know what needs to change. We’ve seen real success in East Kent Hospitals through initiatives like ‘Listening into Action’, ‘We said, we did’, and ‘I can’.

‘We care’ is a bigger version of this – it’s the new philosophy and new way of working for East Kent Hospitals. It’s about empowering frontline staff to lead improvements day-to-day. It’s a key part of our improvement journey – it’s how we’re going to achieve our vision of great healthcare from great people for every patient, every time.

For ‘We care’ to be effective, we need to be clear about what we are going to focus on – too many projects will dilute our efforts.

For the next five years, our strategic focus fits five themes: our patients, our people, our future, our sustainability and our quality and safety. To turn these True North Domains into real improvements, we’re focusing on five key objectives that contribute to these themes for the next year:

  • Reducing falls to reduce harm to patients
  • Reducing healthcare-acquired infections to reduce harm to patients
  • Reducing deaths from sepsis and respiratory failure
  • Improving theatre capacity to reduce patient waits
  • Reducing patient time in ED once there has been a decision to admit.

We have chosen these five objectives using data to see where we can make the most significant improvements by focusing our efforts. We’ll also use data to measure how much we’re making a difference.

Frontline teams will lead making improvements in these areas of focus. They will be supported by our Improvement Office, which will help give teams the training and tools they need, and our Executive Directors will set the focus and coach leaders in how to support change. Our corporate teams will work with frontline teams to tackle organisation-wide improvements.

We recognise that this change in the way we work together means changing our behaviour and the way we do things. We will develop all leaders – from executive directors to ward managers - to be coaches, not ‘fixers’. We will live our Trust values in the way we work together, and involve patients in our improvement journey. 

Meetings in public

Click the links below for details of our meetings held in public, including dates, agendas and minutes:

Get involved with East Kent Hospitals

There are several ways you can get involved with East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.  

Care Quality Commission 

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust is inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Read about how we are working to improve our Trust and our Hospital ratings on our CQC Update webpage.

Commitment to quality

Ensuring safer staffing

We are passionate about ensuring we have the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time. 

Find out more in our monthly reports...

Privacy and Dignity

The Trust is committed to delivering high quality care services. We understand how important it is to respect the privacy and dignity of all our patients and those who are important to them irrespective of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social, cultural, psychological, and physical requirements. 

Read about it on our Privacy and Dignity webpages

Safeguarding adults

Find out about our commitment to safeguarding adults


Diversity and Inclusion

The Trust is fully committed to providing equal opportunities in employment and the elimination of unlawful and unfair discrimination. It values the differences that a diverse workforce brings to the organisation. 

Find out more on our Diversity and Inclusion webpages

People with learning disabilities

The Trust wants to ensure that patients with learning disabilities, their families, carers and all staff have the right support to get the best possible healthcare services.

Find helpful information on our People with learning disabilities webpages

Documents and publications

Please choose from the links below to access our reports and plans:

What is Freedom of Information?

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act requires all government organisations, including the NHS, to publish information about that organisation. The Freedom of Information pages contain information routinely published by the Trust under the Trust's publication scheme.

Making a request

If you would like to make a request for information please first take a look at our Disclosure Log to see if your question has been answered recently.

Access to medical health records is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act. You can obtain a copy of your health records by contacting our Access to Records Department.

Being a Foundation Trust

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Trust was given NHS Foundation Trust status on 1 March 2009. But what does this mean?  

What is an NHS Foundation Trust?

NHS Foundation Trusts have been created to devolve decision-making from central Government to local organisations and communities so they are more responsive to the needs of local people.  

Local people, patients and staff can have a real say in the Trust's decisions by becoming and acting as members of the Foundation Trust. A Council of Governors, which is representative of the local population and elected by the members, holds the Trust Board to account.
Although run locally, NHS Foundation Trusts remain fully part of the NHS. They have been set up in law as legally independent organisations called Public Benefit Corporations, with a primary purpose to provide NHS services to NHS patients and users according to NHS principles and standards. The public still receive free healthcare based on need.

NHS Trusts have more financial freedom and can raise funds from both the public and private sectors to invest in services.

An independent organisation called NHS Improvement, which is directly accountable to Parliament, assesses a Trust's ability to run as a Foundation Trust, and, once NHS Foundation Trust status is granted, oversees the Trust to ensure it is acting properly as an NHS Foundation Trust. 

Get in touch

Main switchboard: 01227 766877

If you do not know which department to ask for, please ask for the operator and one of our switchboard operators will be happy to help you.

You can also write to the Trust:

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust Headquarters
Kent and Canterbury Hospital
Ethelbert Road
Kent, CT1 3NG