Green light for new mental health hospital in York

The development of a new mental health hospital in York has reached a major milestone as we have approved outline plans for the new facility.

The development of York’s new mental health hospital has reached a major milestone as we have approved outline plans for the new facility.

The Trust board of directors has given the go ahead to progress plans for a new hospital on a preferred site off the city’s Haxby Road.

The purpose-designed hospital is expected to be completed in 2019 and will have 72 beds (four 18-bed wards instead of four 15-bed wards as originally proposed).

There will be two adult, single sex wards and two older people’s wards (one for people with dementia and one for people with mental health problems such as psychosis, severe depression or anxiety).

The announcement follows a public consultation led by NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), seeking views on the location of the new hospital and the number and configuration of beds.

The feedback gathered helped inform the assessment of the three possible sites (Bootham Park, Haxby Road and Clifton Park) against a number of criteria. The Haxby Road site came out on top.

Alongside this the Trust also reviewed the number of beds and decided to increase these from 60 to 72 in response to concerns raised during the public consultation and to make sure that future demand can be met.

Nick Land, medical director at the Trust, said: “People across the Vale of York deserve to have access to the best possible mental health care and this includes having a state-of-the-art hospital.

“The Haxby Road site has the space and layout we need to build a purpose designed hospital, that will support 21st century care and I’m delighted that the proposal has been given the green light.

“Although we want to make sure that people can receive the care and treatment they need at home whenever possible, it’s also important that they are able to access a bed when they need one.

“Some people were worried that we wouldn’t have sufficient beds and we have listened to their concerns.

“As a result we have agreed to provide 12 more beds which will put us in a much stronger position to meet current and future needs.”

Work will now continue to finalise plans for the new hospital. This includes submitting a formal planning application, purchasing the land and appointing a construction partner.

The full business case is expected to be signed off by the Trust’s Board of Directors in the new year.

During the consultation process 181 people preferred the Bootham Park Hospital site, 117 chose the Haxby Road site and 69 voted for Clifton Park.

Before the decision was made the Trust worked closely with Historic England and City of York Council over a period of six months to explore a comprehensive range of options for the Bootham Park Hospital site. These discussions highlighted significant challenges in developing a new hospital on the site.

Developing to the front of the existing building would significantly impact on the view of its architecturally and historically significant facade (a view that was purposefully designed when the building was originally constructed).

A number of options for refurbishing, redesigning or replacing the existing hospital buildings were reviewed. All of these proved extremely challenging and Historic England concluded that all of the options would result in substantial harm to the heritage significance of the site.

Historic England and the City of York Council have agreed that the Trust should consider alternative sites which may be more achievable and would provide the necessary facilities.

The Trust has also recently approved a £2 million investment to provide a community resource centre at Huntington House, near Monk’s Cross and the community services currently located at Bootham Park Hospital will transfer to their improved accommodation later in 2017.

The Bootham Park Hospital site remains under the ownership of NHS Property Services who are responsible for any future developments of the site.