WAITING lists across the borough are set to be slashed after it was revealed a new theatre - ‘immune from cancellations’ - will open thanks to almost £15m in NHS funding.

Barnsley Hospital will work with other local trusts to create the new facility, which will be based in Mexborough.

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) is set to receive £14.9m of capital investment funding from NHS England (NHSE) to develop the elective orthopaedic centre at Montagu Hospital.

Working in partnership with Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the Rotherham Hospital Foundation Trust, 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 more than 2,000 orthopaedic procedures on behalf of the three partner trusts, equating to about 40 per cent of the current orthopaedic waiting list locally.

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.”

Statistics from the South Yorkshire Integrated Care System outlines that the region’s waiting list is around 43 per cent greater than it was in March 2020.

Currently there are 2,500 patients who have waited more than a year for their operation, of which two thirds are waiting for an orthopaedic procedure.

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.

Jon Sargeant, executive director of recovery, innovation and transformation at DBTH, added: “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.”

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 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 and a hydrotherapy pool.

Jon added: “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.”