Mental health services in York have transferred to a new provider as planned, after the sudden closure of a psychiatric hospital threatened to delay the process.

The Care Quality Commission last month ordered that all clinical services should be removed from Bootham Park Hospital, just days before services were set to transfer to Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Trust.

mental health depression

TEWV’s chief executive said the situation for York’s mental health patients was ‘far from ideal’

Former provider Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust has transferred all services to the new provider as planned. The deal covers York and Selby, and is worth £190m over five years.

Inpatients who were being treated at Bootham Park have been admitted to a facility in Middlesbrough, about 50 miles away. People detained under the mental health act are being sent to Harrogate, Northallerton or Scarborough.

Martin Barkley, chief executive at TEWV, acknowledged the situation for these patients was “far from ideal”. He said the “ultimate aim is to provide services locally”.

He added: “Since the CQC announced their decision we have been supporting our colleagues at LYPFT to make sure people in the Vale of York continue to receive the mental health care and treatment they need, when they need it.

“This remains our immediate priority and unfortunately this means that some people will need to be admitted to hospitals or receive their treatment outside of York. 

“This is far from ideal and we will do all we can to minimise the impact on service users, their families and staff.

“We are looking at all possible options and working hard to find a solution that will enable us to transfer services back to York as soon as possible.”

Bootham Park was closed due to safety concerns, including a lack of call alarms for patients, poor hygiene and infection standards, and insufficient staffing numbers. The listed status of the 18th century building also means it was “not possible to remove all potential ligature points”, the CQC said.

LYPFT said delays to improvement work were down to Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Property Services, but the CCG said responsibility lay with the FT.