STAFF at Barnsley Hospital are celebrating a monumental turnaround in the four-hour wait following the lifting of its breach of licence.

It comes less than ten months after being investigated by Monitor for rapid deterioration in finances, compounded by concerns about long A&E waiting times.

The decision to issue a compliance certificate for operational performance today comes as a real boost to staff battling through winter pressures. 

Diane Wake, chief executive, said the dedication and commitment of staff to improving waiting times performance has been "simply heroic".

"The four-hour wait is an excellent indicator of how well we are performing," she added. "The fact that we have improved our processes so much that we consistently met the 95 per cent target is a testament to how hard our staff have worked across the whole system."

In a statement Monitor welcomed the improvements and agreed that Barnsley is no longer in breach of its licence to provide NHS services relating to its A&E.

However, it remains in breach on financial grounds and Monitor will continue to extend support to resolve these problems.

Paul Chandler, regional director at Monitor, said: "We stepped in at Barnsley because patients were waiting too long for treatment in its A&E department and because its finances had deteriorated so quickly.

"We're pleased with the improvements that have been made in A&E at the trust and it's good news for Barnsley that fewer people are having to wait when they come to hospital."