PATIENTS, visitors and staff will be given free parking at Halton Hospital for the next three months.

Parking charges have been suspended at both Halton and Warrington hospitals from 12pm today, Saturday, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust says this is an ‘initial’ period, indicating that it could be extended for longer.

Chief executive Professor Simon Constable said: “We recognise that these are very difficult times for our patients, their loved ones, our staff and their own families.

“We know that patients and their visitors are concerned about coming to the hospital, but we want to reassure them and our wider community that strict infection control and prevention measures are in place around the hospital.

“We are restricting visiting times and all unnecessary visitors to the hospitals to minimise any opportunity for exposure to infection.

“Offering free parking will remove the need to touch the high contact parking machines, as well as reducing some of the stress associated with a hospital visit due to car parking payments.

“We are offering free parking for our staff to show our appreciation of the extreme efforts they have gone to in preparing for and dealing with potential Covid-19 cases.”

The trust is also advising patients and visitors to not come out of self-isolation or social distancing in order to attend their appointments.

New appointments can be arranged for future dates over the phone – with telephone consultations also being offered.