AN MP claims evidence has come to light that an NHS trust delayed repairs to York's Bootham Park Hospital until it knew whether it had won the contract to continue delivering mental health services.

York Central MP Rachael Maskell claimed Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust did not want to make vital repairs until it knew its investment would be long term, and the contract subsequently went to Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust.

But the allegations have been strongly refuted by Anthony Deery, director of nursing at the Leeds and York Trust, who said: "Patient safety is always our first priority and we consistently put pressure on the landlord to undertake the required work.

“We also consistently raised concerns about the ongoing delays of this work being completed to the Bootham Park Programme Board, chaired by Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group."

Asked what the evidence was that had come to light, an assistant to the MP said she was 'unable to disclose individual names but has information from people who were there at the time the decisions were made.'

Ms Maskell, who said the hospital failed successive Care Quality Commission inspections due to the risk that it posed to patient safety, said she had written directly to Jim Mackey, the chief executive of NHS Improvement, the body which licensed NHS providers, to call for a full investigation into the governance of the Leeds and York Trust.