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Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) will commence construction works of an elective orthopaedic centre at Montagu Hospital in Mexborough this week, following investment of almost £15 million from NHS England (NHSE).
Working in partnership with Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (BH) and The Rotherham Hospital Foundation Trust (TRFT), colleagues at DBTH are leading 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.
Known currently 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 in a dedicated orthopaedic facility. 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, which will enhance local scanning capacity for illnesses such as cancer.
In the first year of operation, it is envisaged that the centre will undertake over 2,000 orthopaedic procedures on behalf of the three partner trusts, equating to about 40% of the current orthopaedic waiting list locally.
Another benefit of its location in Mexborough is that Montagu Hospital is that the site 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.
Construction begins this week, and is expected to take around seven months to complete with the new centre opening to patients in early 2024.
To commemorate this milestone, an official ground-breaking ceremony will take place later this week.
Jon Sargeant, Executive Director of Recovery, Innovation and Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive 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.”
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.
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 in the coming months.”
It is anticipated that, with shared staffing and additional capacity, the centre will operate on patients from across the region.
Michael Wright, Deputy Chief Executive of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, concludes: “The development of the Montagu facility will have a real positive impact on the patients of all three Trusts by providing additional capacity to improve waiting times and treating patients in a new state of the art dedicated facility.”