A STRETCHED service aimed at preventing the spread of infections in St Helens, Halton and Warrington is being expanded to help fight coronavirus.

The Infection Prevention Control (IPC) team offers advice, guidance and training across various settings on all infection control matters.

The team is based at Newton Community Hospital and is jointly funded by Public Health in the three boroughs.

At present, the service has four infection control nurses, an infection control practitioner and a full-time secretary.

Demand for the service has grown during the coronavirus pandemic and a decision has now been taken to recruit four additional nurses.

Details of the decision, which has been taken through delegated powers, has been published on St Helens Borough Council’s website.

“The current Covid-19 pandemic has placed considerable demands on the IPC service, recruitment of four additional IPC nurses will increase the capacity of the team in particular to provide support to a variety of settings, support local outbreak management and seasonal influenza,” the council said.

“In addition the recruitment of the additional staff will ensure the stability of the service going forward due to current staff retirement plans.”