THE Halton Hospital site is set to be temporarily reconfigured in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is in order to redeploy skilled staff to support the expected increased demand to treat patients affected by COVID-19.

From Friday, patients, visitors and staff will be required to enter only through the phase two entrance (Urgent Care Centre end) and arrangements have been made for the shuttle bus to pick up and drop off only from this entrance.

The phase one entrance will not be operational.

Urgent Care Centre from 8am until 7pm, wards B1 and B3 and the pharmacy are accessible from the phase two entrance.

The Planned Investigations Unit and phlebotomy are now co-located as are ECG and pre-op at the former B2.

The George Lloyd restaurant remains open for takeaways only and the Brooker Centre and Renal Dialysis unit are unaffected by this change.

CT scans will continue to be delivered from CMTC’s ground floor to support Urgent Care Centre patients.

Already, non-emergency outpatient appointments have been postponed or converted to telephone consultations and therapies have been relocated to Warrington, other nearby centres or postponed if not urgent.

Chemotherapy services are being delivered for the immediate future at Clatterbridge and the Delamere Centre will recommence its support services in due course.

Professor Simon Constable, chief executive said: “We are very fortunate to have Halton as a stand-alone home for our planned work.

"This gives us immediate access to Halton’s highly skilled theatre and other staff that we are now re-allocating to increase our critical care and emergency capacity as part of our COVID-19 effort.

“Already we are working with partners to explore the possibility of using the Halton campus for patients recovering and rehabilitating from acute illness following treatment at any of our local hospitals, not just COVID-19 patients.

“This is an evolving situation and we are continuing to change and adapt to meet the needs of our patients as new guidance is issued.

"Meanwhile, our commitment to the growth and development of the Halton site remains our plan for the future - when we emerge the other side of this - which we will.”