Doncaster to be one of three regional night-time children's surgery centres

Doncaster Royal Infirmary
Doncaster Royal Infirmary

Doncaster is set to become one of three main night-time regional centres for children's surgery.

Officials have approved plans which will see the Doncaster Royal Infirmary become one of three hospitals in the region to perform surgery requiring a general anesthetic at night, at weekends weekend or if it will need to stay in hospital overnight.

It will be for youngsters requiring general surgery, eye surgery, mouth surgery, or surgery on the bones, muscles, nerves or groin area. Only a small number of cases are expected to be affected.

Doncaster will be one of three hospitals which will carry out the operations in future in its health region, along with , Pinderfields General Hospital in Wakefield and Sheffield Children's Hospital.

It was one of three options looked at. But the Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups has decided to go ahead with the option, which means that sort of surgery will no longer be carried out at night in Chesterfield, Rotherham or Barnsley.

This is expected to affect 35 children per year in Barnsley; 14 per year in Rotherham; 16 per year in Chesterfield.

A business case proposing the future provision of children’s surgery and anaesthesia services in South and Mid Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire was discussed.

A spokesman said the option, option two, had been chosen because "with careful planning to ensure we have the right staff in each hospital, and to make sure patients could get to one of the hospitals within 45 minutes (as a national standard), we believe that option two would give all patients in South and Mid Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire access to the same quality and standard of children's surgery services.

They added: "We don't think that option 1 would be sustainable as we would not have enough doctors or nurses to provide cover cross all sites meaning we would risk facing further safety and quality problems.

"We also think that option 3 would be challenging in terms of the increased amount of patients going to only one of two places."

Option one would have seen Chesterfield continuing the surgery as well as Doncaster, Sheffield and Wakefield. Option three would have seen only Sheffield and Wakfefield doing the work.

Led by Commissioners Working Together – a partnership between the eight clinical commissioning groups in our region - a review, case for change and business case have been developed over the last three years. Clinicians, service managers and patients have been involved in the work, which has looked at patient experience and outcomes, staffing levels and each place’s ability to meet the necessary standards for their service.

The public consultation took place between 3 October 2016 and 14 February 2017 and the findings and feedback received has been incorporated into the final business case. The independent report on the findings is available here.