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CQC publishes findings from inspection of Bootham Park Hospital, York

8 January 2016
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a full report of its inspection of Bootham Park Hospital in York.

CQC inspectors visited the psychiatric hospital site (an 18th Century, Grade 1-listed building), in September last year when the service was part of Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The unannounced inspection followed concerns raised by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust about the delay in making safety improvements which had been required at an earlier inspection. At the same time CQC was also aware that Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust had been awarded the contract to provide services at the hospital which had been put out to tender by Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group.

An inspection team, which included a specialist advisor in estates management, examined the safety of inpatient services, as well as the overall maintenance of the hospital building. As a result the team identified a number of serious safety concerns, including risks posed by potential ligature points, failure to ensure safe water temperatures, insufficient staffing and risks of infection due to poor hygiene.

Following that inspection, all inpatients were moved to other services in the interests of their safety and wellbeing. All other clinical services were also relocated. After the completion of remedial works, the health based places of safety suite re-opened on 16 December, run by Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Paul Lelliott, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (lead for mental health), said:

“During our inspection in September, it was clear that there was a significant risk to the safety of patients who remained in Bootham Park Hospital. “Under those circumstances, we could not allow the service to continue indefinitely or allow a new application to open services at the hospital until those risks had been dealt with.

“Since the completion of work by Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Property Services Limited to ensure the safety of the premises, CQC inspectors visited the health-based place of safety suite at to assess its suitability.

“Our registration team was satisfied that the required work was complete and that people would be able to receive safe, high-quality care. We then accepted the trust’s application to register services provided at the health-based place of safety suite which re-opened on 16 December.

“The trust is continuing its work on other parts of the premises to ensure the remaining safety concerns are addressed so that additional outpatient services can also resume.”

A full report of the September inspection will be available on Friday 8 January on the CQC website at

The report makes clear that inspectors were concerned about the risk of suicide or serious harm to patients because Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust had not been able to remove all of the potential ligature points within the building. Some of the rooms that had fixtures and fittings which could be used as ligature points by patients who were at risk of suicide, were found to be unlocked which meant that patients could have access to them.

Patients were at risk of serious scalding from high water temperatures as maintenance work had not been carried out to guarantee their safety.

Inspectors found that nursing staff were unable to observe all parts of the wards due to the layout of the building. They also found a lack of call alarms for patients, insufficient staffing numbers, and poor hygiene and infection control in two of the hospital’s wards.

CQC inspectors will continue to monitor the Bootham Park Hospital, as run by Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust, and will return in due course to carry out further inspections.


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Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors


CQC inspected services at Botham Park Hospital in September 2015 as a result of being notified of delays in the implementation of an action plan submitted by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust after an inspection at Bootham Park Hospital in September 2014. The trust during and subsequent to the September 2014 inspection provided documents that outlined their concerns about the premises and the length of time it was taking to complete the agreed works. To find a solution the trust had raised this with the relevant parties, including Vale of York commissioning group and NHS property services who were responsible for the building and the plan of work.


The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, is leading inspection teams that include CQC inspectors, doctors, nurses, managers and experts by experience (people with personal experience of using or caring for someone who uses the type of services we were inspecting). By March 2016, CQC will have inspected all acute NHS Trusts in England. Whenever CQC inspects it will always ask the following five questions of every service: Is it safe? Is it effective? Is it caring? Is it responsive to people’s needs? Is it well-led?


About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.