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Mental health patients travelling 50 miles for medical care

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Since it was closed in September of last year, patients of Bootham Park adult mental health unit in York have been travelling 50 miles to Roseberry Park in Middlesbrough to receive medical care. The unit was closed very suddenly in September following an unannounced visit by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) when it was found that patients were at “significant risk of harm”. The unit was given five days to close its doors, and since hundreds of vulnerable patients have been left with no assurances about their future care. Bootham Park was York’s only psychiatric hospital.

“The risk to patients is very evident”

MP Rachel Maskell from York central called for an enquiry following the sudden closure, saying: “The risk to patients is very evident. I think what’s happened is a massive national scandal.  It’s as political as much as clinical”.  Maskell described the situation as a “complete mess”.

Eight of the thirty inpatients from Bootham were moved to Middlesbrough, and the rest were discharged to home treatment. One of the eight moved, who gave his name as William, was extremely distressed at being moved. His mother described how difficult he had found it to make the transition, saying that at one visit he would only say: “I’m waiting to die. I’ll die today”.

A new temporary 24-bed assessment and treatment unit is expected to open this summer. It is expected that a completely new replacement hospital will open to replace Bootham Park, however a location has not yet been decided. The new unit is expected to be complete in 2019.

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