A HEALTH sector watchdog has launched an investigation into Barnsley Hospital's financial irregularities and its waiting times.

The hospital, which has fallen under the spotlight recently because of a reported £2.3 million deficit, will now be investigated by Monitor.

Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, said he is 'extremely concerned' the Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust has allowed itself to get into trouble.

"That both internal and external investigations are being conducted into financial irregularities at the trust is extremely worrying for all of us," he added.

"There must be proper accountability for what has gone wrong and lessons must be learnt so that the trust never finds itself in this situation again."

The trust has breached the national accident and emergency quarterly target five times in an 18-month period.