Ed Miliband MP helps to cut the ribbon on new Mexborough NHS service

Last week Ed Miliband joined Suzy Brain England OBE, Chair of the Board at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), and a number of local healthcare professionals as they, together, cut the ribbon on a brand new Endoscopy Unit within Montagu Hospital in Mexborough.

This milestone marks the completion of phase two of the three-phase Community Diagnostic Centre project at the site, representing a significant investment to enhance health services, particularly within the Dearne Valley area of South Yorkshire.

The Endoscopy unit at the Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) officially opened to patients on 20 November and features two fully functioning procedure rooms in addition to training facilities, and multifunctional clinic rooms, including ultrasound.

An endoscopy is a test to look inside your body. A long, thin tube with a small camera inside, called an endoscope, is passed into your body through a natural opening such as your mouth. An endoscopy offers an opportunity to collect tissue samples (known as a biopsy) to test for diseases and conditions that may be causing anaemia, bleeding, inflammation or change in bowel habit. It can also detect some cancers of the upper and lower digestive system, as well as other health issues.

At present, the service is available to patients in Doncaster, however from mid-2024, the team will also care for individuals from Rotherham and Barnsley. In all, the Trust anticipates that by September 2024, around 1,600 procedures will have been carried out within the state-of-the-art facility.

Prior to the cutting of the ribbon, Suzy Brain England said: “I want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone involved in the successful delivery of this wonderful suite. From our project managers, clinicians and construction experts, to our external partners who supported, this is a wonderful facility which will stand the test of time, and I speak for DBTH as a whole when I say that you have done the Trust proud.”

The CDC has received funding of just under £25 million received in total, of which £9 million has been spent in the current phase of development.

Construction on the new endoscopy suite began in March 2023 and is located within the prominent ‘rotunda’ section of Montagu Hospital – the rounded area of the building above the Minor Injuries Unit.

This area was previously occupied by the Pain Clinic, which has been relocated to the vacant physiotherapy space, following its own refurbishment as part of the wider CDC investment.

Suzy added: “Looking a little bit ahead, the third phase, which we hope will commence shortly, will bring the Imaging Suite to site, located at the rear of the site, which will handle around 250 scans per week. This facility aims to eventually offer cardiac imaging and echocardiography, eliminating the need for patients to be referred elsewhere – another incredible development for our site here in Mexborough.”

Cardiac imaging and echocardiography is currently only available at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital. By using MRI and CT technology within the new Imaging Suite, colleagues will be able to diagnose a wide-range of heart conditions including coronary heart disease, valve disease, and cardiac tumours, and this is planned to be live by Autumn 2024.

Ed Miliband, MP for Doncaster North, said: “I was delighted to officially open the Community Diagnostic Centre at Mexborough Montagu Hospital. These new facilities are a fantastic addition to Montagu, providing additional capacity for the detection of cancers and other ailments. I was so impressed by the  genuinely state of the art facilities.

“As always with the NHS, the most impressive thing of all was the dedication, commitment, knowledge and passion of the staff. I want to thank them for their incredible work.”