More about us

The RD&E has a long and proud history dating back over 250 years. Today, we provide safe, high quality and compassionate care to around 450,000 people in Exeter and across East and Mid-Devon; in a large acute teaching hospital, twelve community hospitals, various community settings and in people’s homes.

In 2004, we were one of the first Trust’s nationally to achieve NHS Foundation Trust status. This means that we are directly accountable to local citizens through our Members and Governors. It enables us to connect more closely to the people and communities we serve and are better able to respond to local needs.

Quality care

The RD&E retained its rating of ‘Good’ during the most recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection in 2019; and was designated as outstanding in a number of areas, including for ‘Caring’ generally and for our ‘Urgent and Emergency’, ‘Critical Care’ and ‘Renal’ services.

We work together

This fantastic achievement, at a time of immense pressure on the NHS, is thanks to our amazing 11,000 strong employees.

Our staff work incredibly hard to provide the best care possible, fostered by a strong culture of kindness and compassion, teamwork and a drive to continually improve.

These qualities come together in a ‘golden thread’ summarised in our slogan, ‘We work together’. Along with our values and behaviours, see below, this underpins and guides all that we do.

Our values and behaviours

Our Trust values were developed by our staff, together with guiding behaviours, and form the cornerstone of all that we do, as individuals and as an organisation.

Our values are: 

  • Fairness
  • Honesty, openness & integrity
  • Respect & dignity
  • Inclusion & collaboration

We live our Trust values everyday; they drive our recruitment, inform our decision-making and influence how we treat each other and our patients.

They apply to all of us equally and help to ensure that we provide an inclusive and supportive work place for RD&E employees and the best care possible for our patients and the communities we serve.

To find out more click here to down load our Values and Behaviours Leaflet.

Nationally and internationally renowned

The Trust has earned a national and international reputation for the provision of high quality healthcare services, innovation, research and education.

The following specialist fields are widely recognised for excellence; Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Centre, the Centre for Women’s Health (maternity, neonatology and gynaecology services), Cancer Services, Renal Services, Exeter Mobility Centre and Mardon Neurorehabilitation Centre.

As a teaching hospital, the RD&E delivers undergraduate education for a full range of clinical professions. We are the lead partner for the University of Exeter College of Medicine and Health and a leading centre for high quality research and development in the South West peninsula. This exciting and productive relationship enables us to deliver outstanding and globally recognised research. In-turn, this means we can offer the latest clinical care, technologies and medicines to transform the lives of our patients and their families.

Integrated care

The Trust runs Eastern Devon’s Community Services, including many of the services delivered in the Community Hospitals. This enables us to offer more efficient and joined up care.

We work hand-in-hand with health and care partners and local communities to find the best way to meet individuals’ needs. This means more people can stay well at home and in their community and a hospital stay only happens when absolutely necessary.

Evidence shows that home is the best place for most people to improve their wellbeing and independence during and after illness.

Plans for the future / our Corporate Strategy

These are challenging times for the NHS, but we believe this also presents an opportunity to forge a new approach to meet the health and wellbeing needs of the people we serve.

We have set out on a journey to reimagine health and care services in Devon, to make the bold and fundamental changes required.

The integration of care services is part of a wider ambition to establish a place-based system of care that promotes independence, prevention and wellbeing for all. This system places the needs of the individual and their family firmly at the centre of care, supporting people to live the life that they want to lead.

Our Corporate Strategy

Our Corporate Strategy defines how we will work together to build a health and care system that delivers for all, now and into the future.

Click here to download our Corporate Strategy.

We will be a leader in transforming the health and care system, working in partnership to connect people, services, communities and voluntary groups to meet the needs of our communities; informed by the latest research and evidence-based practice.

In doing so, we will provide safe, high quality, seamless services delivered with courtesy and respect now and in the future.

Our guiding objectives

To shape our work, we have set ourselves three guiding objectives. We will:

to people and continually improve what we do.

people, communities and services so that we can work together to improve health and well-being for everyone.

so we can continue to grow our world-class specialisms, working with partners and patients to push forward the best medical research.


Partnership working lies at the heart of our approach to continually improving care for the people we serve. We work closely with other local organisations to offer more integrated care, closer to home.

Devon Sustainability and Transformation Partnership

We are an integral part of the Devon Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), and from 1 April 2020 became part of the Integrated Care System for Devon, known as Together for Devon. Our shared vision is, ‘Equal chances for everyone in Devon to lead long, happy and healthy lives’.

Collaborative Agreement - Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust 

The RD&E has supported the delivery of acute services in Northern Devon for a number of years through clinical networking arrangements ensuring access to specialist care. In June 2018, this arrangement was strengthened as part of a Collaborative Agreement, which supported the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) to address some of the challenges it faces, providing acute services from the most remote hospital in mainland England.

The Boards of NDHT and the RD&E are now exploring joining together on a more formal basis. Both Boards have agreed that this process must be based on the premise that any new arrangement is beneficial to people in all the communities served by both Trusts and this premise is supported by NHS regulators. The Trusts have emphasised their commitment to keeping staff and the community informed and engaged as this process develops.


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