CRITICALLY-ill children will be treated closer to home thanks to new equipment at Warrington Hospital.

A new portable monitor on the children’s ward will allow more youngsters having high dependency care to be treated at Warrington Hospital instead of being sent to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.

Sam Roberts is one young patient who will benefit from the equipment.

The 10-year-old has regular prolonged hospital spells after being left brain damaged having contracted meningitis as a baby.

Mum Sarah said: “Sam has a long list of problems - he’s got cerebral palsy, epilepsy, chronic lung disease, Crohn’s disease and he’s visually impaired.

“He’s not having much time at home at the moment and seems to be in hospital more often.

“Going to Alder Hey is stressful on both myself and Sam.

“He often has to be left on his own when he’s over there, because he’s got an older brother and a twin sister so you’re juggling three kids."

The new monitor, which was introduced in February, measures the patient's heart rate and rhythm, breathing and oxygen levels.

While Warrington Hospital already has four fixed machines, the new portable monitor will allow them to care for more young high dependency patients.

Sam's family are now hoping to raise funds for a high pressurised oxygen machine for the big Warrington Wolves fan - who has a twin sister and 13-year-old brother - to use at home.

Sarah, from Bewsey, added: “Being here at Warrington Hospital is much less stressful, because me and the kids can come in and see Sam and then go home at night.

“I know he’s looked after at Alder Hey, but all the girls here know him so you don’t have to explain his needs every time.

“We’re now hoping to get a high pressured oxygen machine for Sam at home.

“Hopefully that would reduce the number of admissions to hospital and we can keep him at home as much as we can."

Deputy ward manager Jill Tomlinson added: “We know how much easier it is for parents to visit their children here rather than going to Alder Hey, and it frees up a bed at Alder Hey if we can do their high dependency care here.”