York hospital not fit for purpose say inspectors

Bootham Park Hospital, York
Bootham Park Hospital, York
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VULNERABLE PATIENTS at risk of suicide are being kept in a 240-year-old hospital that is “not fit for purpose”, according to a health watchdog.

Care Quality Commission inspectors voiced concerns about the safety of wards at the Grade I-listed Bootham Park Hospital, in York, as part of a review that found Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) requires improvement.

Its report largely praised the delivery of mental health services in Leeds but criticised “historically underfunded” work in York, also finding that some of York wards did not meet national guidelines for keeping male and female patients apart.

LYPFT chiefs explained that an “urgent” £2.7m refurbishment project is hoped to address safety issues at Bootham Park this year but that a permanent solution is needed, while York’s Meadowfields and Peppermill Court elderly units, and Worsley Court, in Selby, have been made single-sex.

Chris Butler, chief executive of LYPFT, highlighted the fact that inspectors deemed its staff regionally as “caring” while recognising that more work needs to be done. He said: “This report tells a tale of two cities. Services in Leeds have mostly been rated as good whilst there are a number of concerns raised about services in York.”

The trust provides mental health services for more than 30,000 people, covering crisis services, work with people with learning disabilities, adults, older people and children, in Leeds, York, Selby and North Yorkshire.

Dr Paul Lelliott, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said there was “a great deal of variation” in care safety and quality.

He added: “The trust has told us they have listened to our inspectors’ findings and have begun to take action where it is required.”