INDEPENDENT advisors will be commissioned to help determine the 'most appropriate location' of a new hospital in the town.

Representatives from Warrington Borough Council (WBC), NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust met last Wednesday to progress discussions about a new site.

The team agreed 'to put together a specification' to commission independent advisors to start to take the work forward.

Part of their task will include the 'determination of the most appropriate location' of a new hospital – a process which will include consideration of the current facility, on Lovely Lane.

Hospital chief executive Mel Pickup said: "I am extremely grateful to WBC and our commissioner NHS Warrington CCG for their ongoing support and commitment to provide the best possible hospital facilities for the people of Warrington.

"Some of our estate is more than 100 years old and the recent fire at the aged Kendrick wing has once again brought focus on the need to provide modern, purpose-built clinical treatment facilities for our patients.

"We recognise that we have a very long way to go but this support to commission specialist, independent advice is a vital first step on what will be a long journey."

There was further agreement that the team will visit a number of reference sites to view 'best practice, approach and any lessons learned'.

They will also explore any vacant or underutilised, local authority or NHS, facilities that could 'be considered as future accommodation for some services', receive a plan from the advisors on 'how best to engage the community at the earliest opportunity' and update politicians in the area regularly.