TWO new urgent care centres are opening in Halton this winter, say health chiefs.

Building work will start in the coming weeks to adapt space at the Widnes Walk In Centre in Caldwell Road and at Halton Hospital in Runcorn.

The project has been developed by local doctors at NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation responsible for planning and buying health services for the borough’s 126,000 patients.

It means that elderly patients who suffer from complex problems such as heart and respiratory conditions will be seen immediately closer to home if they feel unwell.

At present, many older people who collapse or fall face lengthy stays in hospital whilst tests are carried out.

Brookvale GP Dr Cliff Richards, chairman of NHS Halton CCG, said: “We are very excited to get work started on the urgent care centres.

“We want our patients and the public to bear with us while we work on improving the clinical space.

“Please be reassured we will keep disruption to services to a minumum to ensure a seamless transition as we move towards opening the new service.”

The urgent care centres, hailed as a ‘one stop shop’ will offer an alternative to accident and emergency for a range of minor injuries and urgent medical problems.

Anyone living in Runcorn and Widnes seeking urgent and necessary attention by health professionals will be seen.

Dr Richards added: “We want to build quality services that Halton residents can access immediately when they need it and take the worry and stress away from travelling to Warrington or Whiston accident and emergency departments.”

It has not yet been confirmed exactly when the centres will open.

The project was expected to be completed in September.