A MAJOR overhaul of services at Warrington Hospital has been given the green light, promising to change the face of the town's hospital.

Board members of North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust have given the thumbs up to a £15m package of new and improved services, which include a purpose-built critical care unit and kidney dialysis unit at Warrington.

The investment, by Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority, will see the hospital become a centre of excellence for all emergency medical care and planned care for patients with more complex conditions with more emergency beds.

The new critical care unit will mean that critically ill patients will no longer have to be transferred to other hospitals because of a lack of available beds.

However, certain services previously provided at Warrington like planned medicine and endoscopy and chemotherapy will be transferred to Halton Hospital.

Outpatient services and accident and emergency admissions will remain unchanged.

The move will see Warrington treat emergency and complex conditions while Halton will deal with more routine care, day case surgery, diagnostic services and cancer treatment.

Allan Massey, Trust chairman, said: "This service reconfiguration is not about running services down. It is about getting the best mix of services at both Warrington and Halton hospitals.

"It is about achieving the Trust's objectives which include rapid access to high quality patient care and treatment that achieves health service targets."

A comprehensive report on the public consultation, which was considered by the board, is available on the Trust's website: northcheshirehospitals.nhs.uk/consultation For more about the developments at Warrington Hospital see Thursday's Warrington Guardian.