WHISTON and St Helens hospitals are the best in the country, and that's official.

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has been ranked as the best NHS trust in England in the national patient-led Assessments of the Care Environment programme (Place).

These assessments inspect and score all acute and specialist organisations throughout England and are carried out with the involvement of patients, patient representatives and members of the public.

It scored 99.99 per cent for cleanliness, 93.69 per cent for food, 98.04 per cent for patient privacy, dignity and wellbeing and 99.33 per cent for the condition, appearance and maintenance of the buildings.

Many Halton patients are treated at both hospitals.

Chief executive Ann Marr, who lives in Widnes, said: “It is fantastic news that the trust has been named the best in the country and that Whiston and St Helens hospitals achieved the highest score in the latest environment assessments.

"Our staff work very hard to maintain the highest standards and these results highlight our commitment to providing patients with excellent facilities and high quality care.”