£15 million surgical unit at Montagu Hospital inches closer to completion

The Mexborough Elective Orthopaedic Centre (MEOC) has taken a significant step forward as much of the facility was installed in late September.

A collaborative project between Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust and Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, residents from across South Yorkshire who are awaiting orthopaedic ops will have the choice of receiving care and treatment at the MEOC once it opens in the new year.

In a modern twist to traditional building practices, the state-of-the-art theatre unit was not built in-situ but rather, manufactured using a pioneering approach to off-site construction.

This approach, utilised by partners ModuleCo, allows for the precise, efficient, and high-quality production of healthcare facilities to the stage where they are 90% complete before being transported to site. These practices not only streamline the building process, but they significantly improve quality control and minimise disruption on existing and busy hospital sites.

As much of the facility arrived at Montagu Hospital in late September, the team were able to capture the construction process (which took around three days), with time lapse cameras and drones. The final film, showing the rapid placement of the unit, can be viewed below.

The service will open its doors in early 2024, and will feature two state-of-the-art theatre units, two anaesthetic rooms and a recovery suite, in addition to 12 inpatient beds. Construction is being overseen by a project team which includes colleagues from all three participating NHS trusts, as well as construction experts IHP Vinci.

In the last few days, the facility has also received its official name, following a public vote. With over 1,600 local people taking the time to share their feedback, the name ‘Mexborough Elective Orthopaedic Centre of Excellence’ was the leading candidate with almost 60% of the vote, and will now feature on all official signage as the project nears completion.

Analysis provided by South Yorkshire Integrated Care System (ICS) outlines that the region’s waiting list has increased by approximately 43% since March 2020. Currently, over 2,500 patients have waited for more than 52 weeks, with two-thirds awaiting orthopaedic procedures.

Jon Sargeant, Executive Director of Restoration, Innovation and Transformation at DBTH and Senior Responsible Officer for the MEOC, said: “It has been incredible to see the project develop at such a rapid pace. From initial works to the site’s foundations in late July to a complete unit which you can now walkthrough is nothing short of phenomenal.

“Once we are able to open our doors in early 2024, we will have two state-of-the-art theatre units which will be able to operate on patients from Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham – helping us to minimise waiting lists locally and, crucially, ensure people get the care and treatment they need. A huge thank you to everyone who has been involved so far to get us to this significant milestone.”

Following completion, patients from across South Yorkshire requiring operations such as hip and knee replacements will have the opportunity to receive care within the new facility, taking advantage of Mexborough’s central position within South Yorkshire.

As the team complete construction, the MEOC project team are also asking for local people’s views on the new service, and what things need to be considered to ensure patients receive the very best care, treatment and experience.

You can get involved by completing this short survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VS3CRSH