PATIENTS spending Christmas at Warrington or Halton hospital will be able to receive a visit from a loved one over Christmas.

The trust has taken a decision to support patients to see family and friends during the festive period by allowing visiting over a two-day period in a controlled and safe manner.

Patients will be able to receive one visitor for up to one hour on either December 25 or 26 at an allocated slot, which will need to be booked with the ward at least 24 hours in advance.

There are exceptions however, which include patients in the emergency department, acute medical unit and outpatient areas, and those wards supporting Covid-secure elective surgery, where stringent measures are in place to reduce the risk of infection.

Kimberley Salmon-Jamieson, the hospital trust’s chief nurse and deputy chief executive, said: “We know how important contact with family and friends is for patients, and never more so than at this special time of year.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

“Although the risks of Covid-19 infection remain, we wanted to do something for our patients who find themselves in hospital at Christmas and give them something to look forward to.

“Our priority however remains to keep our hospitals safe, and we are asking all patients and visitors to abide by our visiting guidance, in particular by booking visiting slots in advance, to keep to the allotted timings and to complete a lateral flow test before travelling to hospital.

“We all need to do our bit to keep our hospitals safe by continuing to adhere to social distancing, always wearing face coverings over the mouth and nose and maintaining good hand hygiene.”

Previous arrangements remain for children on inpatient wards, pregnant women using maternity services, those patients with a cognitive impairment and for those patients who are at the end of their life.

Visitors must follow the safe visiting guidance issued to them throughout the visit, including wearing face coverings over the mouth and nose.

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Visiting will be restricted or suspended with immediate effect in the event of any spread of infection on hospital wards.

Visitors who experience any of the symptoms of Covid-19 infection – a high temperature, new or continuous cough or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – must not visit hospitals.

To ensure the safety of patients, staff and the wider public, all visitors on December 25 and 26 are asked to complete a lateral flow test prior to their visit.

Visitors will be required to provide confirmation of a negative test on arrival to the ward.

Visitors should contact wards directly to book a slot, with ward contact numbers available via or by calling the switchboard on 01925 635911.