‘This Government is selling off York bit by bit’

Rachael Maskell outside Bootham Park Hospital. Photograph: YorkMix
22 Feb 2019 @ 5.19 pm
| Environment, Health, News, Politics

Rachael Maskell says it is ‘unforgivable’ that the voices of York have been ignored over the future of Bootham Park Hospital.

The York Central MP has campaigned to retain the building and its grounds for use by the city – with thousands of people signing a petition supporting the cause.

She has held 44 meetings with agencies and ministers to try to secure this site, as well as speaking in a number of debates and asking dozens of questions in Parliament.

Today Ms Maskell reacted angrily to news that the government has ignored all that and is selling the site to the highest bidder.

City ‘let down’

Bootham Park Hospital. Photograph: Richard McDougall

The MP said:

  • This Tory Government is selling off York bit by bit.

    This month we have lost our post office and now Bootham Park Hospital.

    Over 8,000 people signed a petition, presented to Parliament, to turn this site into a future health campus with extra care, transitional care, housing for key workers and a new public park for York.

    It is unforgivable that their voices and their aspiration has been ignored.

Ms Maskell also felt city council and health leaders could have done more.

“This city has been let down, and I am sure that they will share my frustration that this City of York Council and the Clinical Commission Group failed to advance plans for this site.”

She added:

  • My greatest concern is that as a growing city and an ageing city, and an acute hospital too small to meet current need, and not enough facilities to meet future need that the health needs of our city have been ignored.

    Labour committed to saving this site, and I will do everything within my power to fight for our city.

Bootham Park facts

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The main building dates from about 1777 and is Grade I listed, while the site also includes a number of Grade II listed buildings and features.

The property includes former estate cottages, gate lodge, outbuildings and open parkland.

Because it is listed and in the York Central Historic Core Conservation Area the extensive lawns in front of the building are currently covered by development restrictions.

Bootham Park Hospital was closed in September 2015 with just five days’ notice.

That was after a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection found it unfit for purpose and that patients were at “significant risk of harm”.

The site has been totally vacant since October 2017 when clinical services were relocated elsewhere.

Proceeds from the sale will be reinvested into the health service.

Photograph: Richard Brigham