PLANS to expand surgery and open more beds at Halton Hospital has been welcomed by Halton MP Derek Twigg.

He met with Mel Pickup, chief executive of of Halton and Warrington NHS Foundation Trusts on Friday to discuss hospital related issues.

Mr Twigg said he was delighted that more general elective surgery will be carried out in Runcorn.

He said: “This is really good news and further strengthens the future of the Halton hospital site. I was also pleased to hear that the majority of elective surgery at the trust will be carried out at the Runcorn site.

“ I also welcome the news that a MRI scanner is up and running at the treatment centre. These developments will mean fewer patients will have to go to Warrington.

“The trust is under severe financial pressure, as is the NHS in general, so I will be keeping a close watch on any impact this may have on the services provided by the hospitals.”