Health: Care Trusts and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs):
A Government's drive to create "a new NHS - modern and dependable" set up Primary Care Groups (PCGs) in 1998. PCGs were sub-committees of the local Health Authority. Their governing boards were made up of doctors, nurses and other professionals as well as a lay member who were responsible for involving the community. PCGs eventually became independent of the Health Authority and became Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). The next step was to become a Care Trust. Care Trusts not only provide health care for the community but social care. In Braintree District one of the first Care Trusts in the country has been set up. At present it provides for the health needs of the whole population but only provides social care for the elderly population.

"PALS"- This is the Patient Advice and Liaison Service. Every Health Trust has staff to deal with the interaction between the work of the Trust and the people that it serves. Any enquiries about your Health Trust, whether its a Primary Care Trust, a Hospital Trust or even an Ambulance Trust is best directed to the PALS staff.

"SALS"- Instead of "PALS" - Witham, Braintree and Halstead Care Trust has a "SALS" manager. This stands for "Service User Advice and Liaison Service".

Witham, Braintree & Halstead Care Trust
Warwick House, Market Place, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3HQ
Tel: (01376) 331549
They look after a population of 130,750.
SALS Tel: (01376) 333528

Tendring Primary Care Trust
Carnarvon House, Carnarvon Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 6QD
Tel: (01255) 206060
They look after a population of 128,000.
PALS Tel: (01255) 201239

Colchester Primary Care Trust
The Health Office, Turner Road, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5JR
Tel: (01206) 288544
They look after a population of 165,900.
PALS Tel: (01206) 363000

Health: Chiropractors:
Braintree - (01376) 320110
Coggeshall - (01376) 561318
Colchester - (01206) 549809
Clacton - (01255) 422337
Witham - (01376) 551221

Health: Complaints about the NHS:

POhWER: The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) offers a free, independent and confidential service to help people who wish to make a complaint about the NHS.

Essex POhWER ICAS, Unit 14-15, 33 Noble Square, Basildon, Essex, SS13 1LT

Helpline: 0845 456 1083

Health: Complementary Medicines:

Frinton - (01255) 675256
Brightlingsea - (01206) 305581
Clacton - (01255) 431265
Lt Bromley (Manningtree) - (01206) 396559
Colchester - (01206) 764083
Colchester - (01206) 763800
Wivenhoe - (01206) 827355
Colchester - Chinese Medical Centre, 60 Head St - (01206) 763800

Health: Complementary Therapies:
Chelmsford Action for Relief of Multiple Sclerosis
Their Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Centre is at:
20 Grafton Place, Montrose Road, Springfield Dukes Industrial Estate, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6TG.
Tel: (01245) 461212

Health: Clinics
The clinics listed below should be contacted to find out what facilities they offer. These may vary from time to time. Some are only day care centres.

Coggeshall Road - (01376) 320110
Clacton Hospital, Tower Road - (01255) 201717
Community Mental Health Centre, Thoroughgood Rd - (01255) 220226
Community Mental Health Centre, 190 High St - (01255) 207400
New Road (01206) 392858
407 Main Road (01255) 506451
(01376) 302740

Health: Community Dietician:
Your GP, specialist or nurse will put you in touch with the community dietician who is based at a clinic, surgery or hospital near you.

Health: Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs):

Homer Court, Essex Street, off Headgate, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3BT
Tel: (01206) 287270

Oyster Court, St Helen's Lane, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1ST
Tel: (01206) 287220

Mayfield Chambers, 93 Station Road,Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 1TX
Tel: (01255) 207021

32 Thoroughgood Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 6DD
Tel: (01255) 207000

All Saints House, 413 Main Road, Dovercourt, Essex, CO12 4ET
Tel: (01255) 207400

Health: Continence Adviser:
As we get older, even those in good general health can begin to suffer from incontinence. The added burden of illness increases the likelihood of this occurring. The Continence Adviser based at Colchester will give confidential advice on how to cope with this problem that all too often people suffer alone for fear of embarrassment.
Colchester - (01206) 742338
Halstead - (01787) 291022

Health: Dentists:
For details of your nearest dentist please contact your PCT or Care Trust. See separate entries in our miscellaneous section. You can also find a comprehensive list in the Yellow Pages Telephone Directory.

Health: District Nurse:
First contact with the District Nurse must be made through the GP of the person who is ill. He or she will not only care for the needs of the person but will instruct the carer on the best way to go about looking after the "cared for". The District Nurse can also advise on other services that are available and recommend suitable courses of action.

Health: Doctors:
For details of your nearest doctor please contact your PCT or care Trust.

Health: Essex Strategic Health Authority:
Swift House, Hedgerows Business Park, Colchester Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 5PF
Tel: (01245) 397600
The above address is head office of the local Health Authority.

Health: First Aid Training:
F.A.C.E.T.S. - Heartstart - First aid advice and health training.
British Heart Foundation, 14 Fitzharding St, London, W1H 4DH
Tel: (020) 7935-0185
National website:

Health: Health Service, GPs etc. Complaints:
Contact the Community Health Council on (01206) 766599

Health: Health Visitors:
Can offer a wealth of advice, information and support for carers.

Children with special needs:
Colchester - (01206) 579411
Halstead - (01376) 291034

Health: Hospices:
The Children's Hospice for the Eastern Region

Milton, Cambridge, CM4 6AB
Tel: (01223) 860306
Care and support for families who are exhausted by the physical and emotional stress of caring for a sick child under 18.

Health: Hospitals:
Broomfield Hospital - (01245) 514478
Chelmsford & Essex Hospital - (01245) 491149
Clacton & Dist. Hospital - (01255) 201717
Clacton Maternity Hospital - (01255) 421235
Colchester General Hospital - (01206) 747474
(Ear, nose & throat surgery, general medicine, orthopaedics, general surgery, paediatrics, day surgery, general out- patients, ITU, private, accident & emergency)
Colchester Maternity Hospital - (01206) 747474
(Maternity, special baby unit)
Essex County Hospital - (01206) 747474
(Gynaecology, dental surgery, dermatology, radiotherapy, urinary medicine, orthodontics, ophthalmology
Harwich & Dist. Hospital - (01255) 201200
St Johns Hospital, Chelmsford - (01245) 491149
St Michaels, Braintree - (01376) 551221
St Peters Hospital, Maldon - (01376) 551221
WJ Courtauld Hospital - (01376) 551221

Health: Hospital League of Friends:
Braintree Hospital League of Friends - (01376) 321795
Halstead Hospital League of Friends - (01787) 477560

Health: Marie Curie Nurses - (01206) 838267

Health: Macmillan Nurses
15 / 19 Britten Street, London, SW3 3TZ
Tel: (020) 7351-7811
Work with doctors and other nurses to meet the needs of cancer
patients and to ensure the best possible quality of life for them
and their families.
National website:

Health: National Health Service (NHS)
Visit their website for detailed searchable information:


0845-4647 The National Health Service's 24 hour confidential helpline. If you think something is wrong and you are wondering if a doctor is needed 'phone "NHS Direct" for quick friendly advice.

Health:North Essex Mental Health Partnership Trust:
NEMHPT Headquarters, Cuton Hall Lane, Springfield, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 5PX
Tel: (01245) 318400

Health: Nutrition and Dietetic Department:
Colchester General Hospital, Turner Rd., Colchester
Tel: (01206) 742166

Health: Occupational Therapy:
Occupational therapy involves activities that will help somebody stay mobile and fit or re-learn how to do everyday things such as washing, dressing, eating and cooking. This is done by teaching and/or recommending special aids to help. This service is only available after referral from a consultant or, in the first instance, your GP. A patient leaving hospital after a debilitating illness is often referred to an occupational therapist to help them return to a normal life. Those who have suffered a milder illness but feel the service could be beneficial, should consult their GP.
Colchester General Hospital, Turner Rd., Colchester, CO4 5JL
Tel: (01206) 747474

Health: Opticians
Healthcall Mobile Optical Service:
A mobile service for elderly people. It will visit Day Centres, Residential Homes, Clubs, etc.
Tel: (01702) 470805

Each PCT (Primary Care Trust) area has a PPI group of representatives who are ready to hear you views on the Health Service in your area. They can look at any issue that involves the public with the delivery of health services. The PPIs took over from the Community Health Councils. Check with your PCT office or Colchester CVS (01206) 505250 to find out who sits on your PPI and can represent your views.

Health: Weight Watchers:
At the Columbine Centre, Walton - (01255) 851680