HALTON Hospital has teamed up with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service to send coronavirus testing kits out to patients who are due to be admitted for surgery.

An ‘innovative new partnership’ has seen the trust team up with the fire service in order to offer Covid-19 self-swabs ahead of procedures.

More than 300 patients who are required to self-isolate before operations have so far benefitted from the scheme, which sees fire staff deliver the kits to their homes before returning them to testing laboratories at Warrington Hospital.

Testing has been a ‘critical element of ring-fencing Halton Hospital’ to ensure that the Runcorn site remains free from the virus and that elective procedures can continue.

Consultant cardiologist and associate medical director for unplanned Care Dr Ahmed Farag said: “As we continue to deliver routine planned surgeries on our Covid-secure site at Halton, it is important that we keep our patients and the wider hospital community safe from the impact of the pandemic.

“We are really proud to see how WHH is leading the way in exploring creative partnerships which build on a shared desire in both organisations to overcome challenges and do the best for our communities.”

Steve McCormick, group manager of the prevention department at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is delighted to assist Warrington and Halton teaching hospitals in this vitally important work.

“This initiative is an excellent example of how the public sector can partner up and collaborate and use all our available resources to support the citizens and people of Warrington and Halton during these difficult times.”