Bootham Park Hospital

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

Bootham Park Hospital
Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust
Bootham Park Psychiatric Hospital York - - 92044.jpg
Frontage of Bootham Park Hospital as seen from Bootham
Bootham Park Hospital is located in North Yorkshire
Bootham Park Hospital
Shown in North Yorkshire
LocationYork, North Yorkshire, England
CoordinatesCoordinates: 53°58′01″N 1°05′13″W / 53.967°N 1.087°W / 53.967; -1.087
Care systemNHS
Emergency departmentNo
SpecialityMental Health


Construction and operationEdit

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, to be known as 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]

Following criticism about the handling of inmates at the asylum and the death of Hannah Mills, who was a Quaker, led the local Quaker community to found a new asylum known as The Retreat in 1790.[3] The asylum became Bootham Park Hospital in 1904[4] and it joined the National Health Service in 1948.[4]


In late September 2015 the hospital building was declared unfit by the Care Quality Commission, and ordered to close by the end of the month.[5][6] Staff were given 5 days' notice to close the building.[7] The hospital was closed on 1 October 2015, having been declared unfit for purpose. On the same day Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation 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.[7]

An independent report commissioned by City of York Council from John Ransford concluded:[8]

  • 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 on refurbishing the old building;
  • If Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust failed to investigate the problems they would be sanctioned;
  • 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.

A smaller 24-bedded unit opened in 2016 replacing the 36 beds from Bootham Park Hospital. Outpatient clinics also reopened in February 2016.[9] In April 2020 the hospital was being considered as a location where additional beds could be provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.[10]


  1. ^ Historic England. "Bootham Park Hospital: front range, 1886 link block, late-C18 building, 1817 range and 1908 extension, Guildhall, York (1259396)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  2. ^ Wragg, Brian (2000). The Life and Works of John Carr of York. Otley: Oblong. p. 231. ISBN 0-9536574-1-8.
  3. ^ Digby, A. 1983 Changes in the Asylum: The Case of York, 1777-1815. The Economic History Review New Series, Vol. 36, No. 2 (May), pp. 218–239
  4. ^ a b "Bootham Park Hospital, York". The National Archives. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  5. ^ "York's Bootham Park Hospital 'unfit' and will close". BBC News. BBC. 26 September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  6. ^ Kate Liptrot (25 September 2015). "Bootham Park Hospital to shut after damning inspection and ceiling collapse". The Press. York. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Vulnerable patients have been moved 50 miles after the closure of a psychiatric hospital". The Independent. 26 December 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Patients were let down by NHS structure, says new Bootham Park report". York Press. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Bootham Park Hospital reopens after 'unfit' closure". BBC News. BBC. 5 February 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  10. ^ "CORONAVIRUS: Former Bootham Park Hospital could be brought back into use". York Press. Retrieved 28 October 2020.

External linksEdit