The announcement on Friday that the Bootham Park Hospital site is to be sold off despite all efforts to save it for the city has been met with outrage from City of York Council, local health professionals and Labour’s York Central MP Rachael Maskell who led the campaign to protect it from developers.
A key part of Rachael’s campaign was a petition to have the site turned into a health campus with additional care facilities and affordable housing for key health workers, as well as a public park. Over 8,000 York residents signed the petition, and Rachael has described it as “unforgivable” that their wishes have been ignored. Stating that she had held 44 meetings with agencies and Ministers to try to secure the site, she said:
“This Tory Government is selling off York bit by bit. This month we have lost our post office and now Bootham Park Hospital. 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.”
Meanwhile, in a joint statement, council chief executive Mary Weastell, CEO of York Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Mike Proctor, and Phil Mettam of the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group expressed their disappointment at the decision, and stated that they would work with NHS Property Services to help them understand the importance of the site to the people of York and the opportunities it could represent.