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A new mental health hospital is being built in York after the loss of Bootham Park Hospital in 2015.

However, concerns have emerged that the possible loss of inpatient beds in Harrogate could mean patients who would have gone to that site will have to come to York, leaving fewer places for city residents.

Adele Coulthard, director of operations at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust (TEWV), told North Yorkshire County Council that the number of beds planned for the new mental health hospital in Haxby Road needs to increase from 72 to 97, as the beds currently provided in Harrogate will be provided in York.

Cllr Paul Doughty, chair of City of York Council’s health scrutiny committee, said he has been in conversation with the chair of TEWV Colin Martin and the director for York, David Brown, about the situation.

He said: “They have no plans to increase this which raises questions. I reiterated my concern that if patients who would have gone to Harrogate will be cared for in York, this will then reduce the capacity available for York residents.

“I explained that I could not find it acceptable if this then means that York residents could be placed out of area for treatment again as a result. We know this can cause distress and inconvenience for patients and their families.”

The council report says the new hospital is on track to open in spring 2020 and is on budget. It adds that work will continue to make sure alternatives to admission can be offered to patients. The report will be discussed at a meeting at West Offices on Tuesday at 5.30pm.

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