Bootham Park Hospital

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Coordinates: 53°58′01″N 1°05′13″W / 53.967°N 1.087°W / 53.967; -1.087

Frontage of Bootham Park Hospital as seen from Bootham.

Bootham Park Hospital was a psychiatric hospital, most recently part of Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Foundation NHS Trust. It is located in the Bootham district of York, England, and is a Grade I listed building.[1]


Side view of Bootham Park Hospital from Union Terrace. The pavilion on the left is an end-on view of Carr's original building.

In 1772, Robert Hay Drummond, the Archbishop of York, decided along with "twenty-four Yorkshire gentlemen" to establish an asylum, called the 'County Lunatic Asylum, York'. A committee was established, and the architect John Carr was co-opted with a pledge of 25 guineas. Carr's patron, the Marquis of Rockingham, pledged 100 guineas, and a total of £2,500 was subscribed. By July 1773, £5,000 had been promised, and Carr's scheme to accommodate 54 patients was approved on 25 August. The building was completed in 1777.[2] The name of the building was later changed to Bootham Park Hospital.

Criticism about the handling of inmates and the death of Hannah Mills led the local Quaker community to found, in 1790, a new asylum known as The Retreat.

The hospital owns the only known portrait of "mayor" of Garrat, Sir Jeffrey Dunstan (c.1759–1796), (artist unknown).[importance?][citation needed]

Recent use[edit]

Bootham Park Hospital housed two acute admission wards, one for women and another for men. It also has an elderly assessment unit for people over 65 needing mental health assessment and care. The Intensive Home Treatment Team is also based at the hospital together with other community services and management. On 25 April 2014, it was announced that Bootham Park Hospital was to be closed, and a new hospital built in York.[3]

In late September 2015 the hospital was declared unfit by the Care Quality Commission, and ordered to close by the end of the month.[4][5]


The hospital was closed on 1 October 2015, having been declared unfit for purpose. On the same day Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Foundation NHS Trust replaced Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as the provider of most mental health services in York. Patients were transferred suddenly to other premises, some quite distant. An independent report commissioned by York City Council from John Ransford concluded:

  • the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group failed to ensure that the transfer was properly managed;
  • Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust had not properly taken responsibility for the building;although they spent 2.7 million pounds on referbishing the old building.
  • Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Foundation NHS Trust failed to investigate the problems they would be faced with; Failed is a very harsh term TEWV had no idea of the problems that they are faced with.
  • NHS Property Services "significantly underestimated the logistic and practical challenges of upgrading a Grade I listed building where shortcomings had been identified over many years"
  • The Care Quality Commission "gave insufficient attention to the particular issues raised by formal de-registration and registration of facilities, triggered by the transfer of services between agencies".

Healthwatch York said that use of the hospital should have ceased when it was declared unfit.[6]


  1. ^ Description at British Listed Buildings
  2. ^ Wragg, Brian (2000). The Life and Works of John Carr of York. Otley: Oblong. p. 231. ISBN 0-9536574-1-8. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "York's Bootham Park Hospital 'unfit' and will close". BBC. 26 September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  5. ^ Kate Liptrot (25 September 2015). "Bootham Park Hospital to shut after damning inspection and ceiling collapse". The Press. York. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Patients were let down by NHS structure, says new Bootham Park report". York Press. 16 April 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016. 

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