ONE of Warrington’s MPs has described the new extension at Warrington Hospital as a welcome pressure reliever.

Warrington South MP Andy Carter was shown around the new same day emergency care centre, which is now up and running and has started accepting patients.

This is the latest stage of Warrington Hospital’s continued development of its urgent and emergency care offer.

As part of a £6.3million investment, the project aims to extend the range of urgent and emergency care services that is available to patients in the area.

The new same day emergency care centre runs 24-7, with a dedicated team that can assess, diagnose and treat patients referred directly from primary care or emergency department colleagues.

The prime objective is to avoid patients having to be admitted to hospital.

Following the visit, Mr Carter said: “We are making progress in updating the facilities at Warrington Hospital, and I secured the funding some time ago for this unit.

“There were understandable delays in the construction because of Covid, and I was grateful for the Prime Minister’s support when he came to visit the project in its early stages.

Warrington South MP Andy Carter speaking with staff at Warrington Hospitals new same day emergency care centre

Warrington South MP Andy Carter speaking with staff at Warrington Hospital's new same day emergency care centre

“It was really good to see patients being treated in clean, modern, clinical surroundings by an excellent team of dedicated staff.

“This unit will help to take pressure off the accident and emergency department, and it will also relieve pressure on ward admissions into hospital.

“Same-day treatment can be administered and then patients sent home to recover in their familiar surroundings.

“My focus remains on securing the £317million to build a new hospital for the town, and we have submitted a strong bid to the Department for Health, which is currently being assessed.

“This new unit is a short-term fix to increase capacity, but we need a modern, larger hospital that can cope with the pressures we are seeing from a population that has increased significantly since the current hospital was built.”

Professor Simon Constable, the hospital’s chief executive, previously described the upgrade as a ‘game changer’ when speaking to the Warrington Guardian

He said: “Much of the delay in the emergency department occurs when staff run out of space to assess patients.

“This will be a real boost to our capacity to assess patients and move them on to the next diagnostic or care setting.”

Warrington South MP Andy Carter speaking with staff at Warrington Hospitals new same day emergency care centre

Warrington South MP Andy Carter speaking with staff at Warrington Hospital's new same day emergency care centre

He also dispelled residents’ fears that the expansion project could mean that the town will not be getting a new hospital.

The trust officially submitted its new hospital bid to the Government in September, as part of the £3.8billion New Hospital Programme, with a decision expected soon.

Professor Constable added: “What we are hoping to do is make the department fit for the future in terms of how we currently work our same-day emergency care.

“There are absolutely still plans for a new hospital. We submitted a bid in September to be one of eight new hospitals nationally, and that is being assessed as we speak.

“These things (the expansion and a new hospital) are not exclusive of each other.

“We need to continue to make the best use of the estate that we currently have and look after it until we have an alternative.

“The timelines of these things are very different, and we have many more winters to get through before a new Warrington Hospital is likely.”