The MEOC is a dedicated orthopaedic hub with a total investment of £14.9 million, and will operate 48 weeks per year, five days a week, focusing on procedures such as hand and wrist surgeries, foot and ankle treatments, arm and shoulder procedures, carpals, knees, and hips. Its strategic location at Montagu Hospital in Mexborough, ensures that it remains insulated from the typical disruptions experienced by general hospitals, particular during periods of heightened activity in the winter.
With construction advanced and the facility water tight, senior leaders across all three participating trusts, as well as South Yorkshire Integrated Care System (ICS), were able to step inside the building and view the work-in-progress.
Jon Sargeant, Chief Financial Officer at DBTH and Senior Responsible Officer for the project, expressed his excitement about the project, stating: “The MEOC is a testament to our commitment to enhancing patient care and reducing waiting times for orthopaedic procedures. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in our efforts to improve healthcare services in South Yorkshire.”
With the first patient procedures expected to commence in January 2024, the MEOC is expected to reduce associated waiting times in the region significantly, with the centre to undertake approximately 2,200 orthopaedic procedures in its first year of operation, which accounts for around 40% of the current orthopaedic waiting list.
Dr Richard Jenkins, Chief Executive of both Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, added, “The MEOC represents a crucial addition to how we deliver healthcare. By offering specialised orthopaedic services in a an out of hospital environment, we can undertake more operations and provide consistent, high-quality care while minimising disruptions and cancellations.”
Patients from the collaborating hospitals in Rotherham, Doncaster, and Barnsley can easily access the MEOC, with it being centrally located in Mexborough and served by regular bus and train links, and the site is no more than 11 miles away from all participating hospital trusts.
As an additional service, those waiting for an orthopaedic procedure locally will have the opportunity to opt to have it undertaken at the MEOC, or instead within their local hospital.
Gavin Boyle, Chief Executive Officer of South Yorkshire Integrated Care System, emphasised the project’s impact, saying, “The MEOC is a vital step toward reducing orthopaedic waiting lists and improving access to care. We are thrilled to see this facility come to life and look forward the positive difference it will make to the lives of South Yorkshire residents.”
Before opening, simulations will be conducted to ensure the facility is patient-ready. In total, the MEOC will be supported by around 70 healthcare professionals. The centre will feature two state-of-the-art theatre units, two anaesthetic rooms and a recovery suite, in addition to 12 inpatient beds.
The team overseeing the project want to understand local people’s views to ensure patients have the very best experience within the new facility. You can share your thoughts here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VS3CRSH