A VACANT site near York Hospital has been identified by a senior psychiatrist as a good location for a new mental hospital.

Dr Bob Adams claims an area of land off Union Terrace - where there used to be a nursing accommodation block - is suitable for a psychiatric hospital to replace Bootham Park, which was dramatically closed by the Care Quality Commission last month amid concerns amid concerns over its dilapidated condition.

He told The Press that the site was originally a formal garden for Bootham Park. "I know York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust currently own this land and they may be keeping it in reserve to use in the future, but they have done nothing with it for years and it lies vacant," he said.

"York deserves a state-of-the-art unit near the acute hospital, near the centre of the city, with easy access to transport hubs. Why should mental health take second best?"

The Press reported last week that at least three other potential sites for a new hospital were being examined by NHS Property Services, who were set to come forward with recommendations later this month.

The options included a 21st century hospital behind the Georgian facade of Bootham Park, Clifton Park in Rawcliffe or at the site of The Retreat, the charitable, not-for-profit provider of specialist mental health care in Thief Lane.

A spokesman for NHS Property Services said yesterday that all reasonable sites were being examined and it was aware of the site Dr Adams was referring to. "However, this site is not listed as being surplus to local NHS requirements and therefore it is not currently under consideration,"

Martin Barkley, chief executive at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), which has taken over the running of mental health services in York, said it was doing all it could to minimise the impact of the closure and find solutions enabling it to transfer services back to York as quickly as possible.

He said: “On Friday we discussed with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) the possibility of re-opening non-inpatient services at Bootham Park Hospital. The CQC have requested additional information which we are now providing.

"We have also been looking at possible interim arrangements for inpatient services and intend to present proposals to the City of York Council’s Health and Scrutiny Committee on October 20.

“Our longer term goal is a new inpatient unit for the people of York and Selby and we will consider all the options, including the suggestion made by Dr Adams.”