£14.9 million theatre facility to be created within Mexborough’s Montagu Hospital

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) is set to receive £14.9 million of capital investment funding from NHS England (NHSE) to develop an elective orthopaedic centre

Working in partnership with Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (BH) and The Rotherham Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (TRFT), colleagues at DBTH will lead the programme to implement a new, dedicated orthopaedic hub for the people of South Yorkshire, with health professionals undertaking hip and knee replacement inpatient procedures alongside foot and ankle, hand and wrist, and shoulder day case surgery.

In the first year of operation the centre will undertake some 2,200 orthopaedic procedures on behalf of the three partner trusts, equating to about 40% of the current orthopaedic waiting list locally.

Known as the Montagu Elective Orthopaedic Centre (MEOC), the facility will feature two state-of-the-art theatre units, two anaesthetic rooms and a recovery suite, in addition to 12 inpatient beds. The development will also benefit from its placement within Montagu Hospital, co-located with rehabilitation services and with access to the planned Community Diagnostic Centre and a hydrotherapy pool.

Another benefit of its location in Mexborough is that Montagu Hospital is defined as a ‘cold site’ and does not provide emergency services. This means that, despite peaks in activity within the wider acute hospitals, the MEOC will be ringfenced and protected against the usual cancellations and postponements which can, unfortunately, be common as staff are moved elsewhere to help manage emergency pressures, particularly in winter.

Further planning is currently underway, with offsite construction of the theatres set to begin in May 2023 and expected to take around seven months to complete with the new centre opening in November 2023.

Mr Ranjit Pande, Clinical Director for Trauma and Orthopaedics at DBTH, and clinical lead for the project, said: “This is a wonderful development for the people of South Yorkshire, and a testament to our commitment to work together, as providers across the region, to do our very best for local patients. We will now work hard to develop this service, and, if all goes plan, we will be able to treat our first patients by the end of the year.”

Analysis provided by South Yorkshire Integrated Care System (ICS) outlines that the region’s waiting list is around 43% greater than it was in March 2020. At present, 2,500 patients have waited over 52 weeks for their operation, of which two thirds are waiting for an orthopaedic procedure.

Jon Sargeant, Executive Director of Recovery, Innovation and Transformation at DBTH, said: “This is a fantastic development and will see us significantly reduce the waiting list for operations such as knee and hip replacements, as well many other elective orthopaedic procedures

“Working with our partners at Barnsley and Rotherham, we will be able to offer state-of-the-art facilities in a setting which is immune from the usual cancellations we often see within hospital settings. Furthermore, it will help to outline our ambitions for Montagu Hospital as a centre of excellence for elective and diagnostic care, ensuring we are making the most of the site, and its unique and accessible location within the Dearne Valley.”

It is anticipated that, with shared staffing and additional capacity, the centre will operate on patients from across the region.

Bob Kirton, Deputy Chief Executive at Barnsley Hospital, said: “This investment provides an excellent opportunity for the people of South Yorkshire to benefit from easier access to the services and care that they need. I am really looking forward to the unit opening later this year.”

The development of the Montagu Elective Orthopaedic Centre has been supported by the South Yorkshire Integrated Care System as well as NHS England, and helps to fulfil ambitions of the latter’s Elective Recovery Plan which seeks to eliminate waits of longer than a year by March 2025.

Gavin Boyle, Chief Executive at NHS South Yorkshire, said: “We are working hard across our system to reduce the time that our patients are waiting for operations. This investment is extremely welcome and will provide us with a fantastic facility that will give people from across South Yorkshire better and faster access to services.

“I’m delighted to see our local hospitals coming together to provide high quality services in one place, helping to tackle our region’s waiting lists and deliver our ambitions with the elective recovery plan for South Yorkshire. By working together across our health and care system we can continue to drive forward improvements, such as this new centre, to provide the best possible experience of healthcare and ensure our local people have access to services they need to live well.”

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