YORK will have a new mental health hospital by 2019 after NHS bosses approved outline plans for the facility.

Bootham Park Hospital closed in 2015 and left no inpatient NHS mental health hospital service in the area for a year.

Peppermill Court, off Huntington Road, was turned into a 24-bed interim mental health hospital in summer 2016 by the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, after three sites were identified for the new hospital.

Initial plans for the Haxby Road site, marked in red on the map - which formerly housed Vickers and Bio-Rad and is next to the new York St John University sports facilities, have now been approved for the purpose-designed hospital and is expected to be completed in 2019 and will have 72 beds.

York Press:

This includes four 18-bed wards instead of four 15-bed wards as originally proposed.

There will be two adult, single sex wards and two older people’s wards - one for people with dementia and one for people with mental health problems such as psychosis, severe depression or anxiety.

The Trust also reviewed the number of beds and decided to increase these from 60 to 72 in response to concerns raised during the public consultation and to make sure that future demand can be met.

Nick Land, medical director at the Trust, said: “People across the Vale of York deserve to have access to the best possible mental health care and this includes having a state-of-the-art hospital.

“The Haxby Road site has the space and layout we need to build a purpose designed hospital, that will support 21st Century care and I’m delighted that the proposal has been given the green light.

“Although we want to make sure that people can receive the care and treatment they need at home whenever possible, it’s also important that they are able to access a bed when they need one.

“Some people were worried that we wouldn’t have sufficient beds and we have listened to their concerns.

“As a result we have agreed to provide 12 more beds which will put us in a much stronger position to meet current and future needs.”

Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, has welcomed the Trust’s decision to increase the number of beds planned for its new mental health facility.

In her response to the consultation on the new hospital, Ms Maskell raised serious concern that 60 beds would not meet the need of the city, and could result in people in crisis being sent out of the area.

She said: "Clearly it is welcome that by 2019 York will have a purpose built and specially designed mental health facility to meet the needs of our city.

"In particular the increase in the number of beds, from the consultation exercise, has shown that the Trust has listened to the responses they received.

“It is vital that Tees, Esk and Wear Valley are able to establish a world-leading centre for mental health in York again through not only building the best facility to aid people’s rehabilitation and recovery from a period of illness, but also have the resources to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the whole community.

“We all know that York’s mental health service needs a lot more investment in the community, in early intervention and therapeutic services, and I will continue to make the case for this.

"Residents continue to raise serious concerns with me about access to services, waiting lists and on-going support for young people and adults.”

In March former patients at Bootham dropped their plans for a judicial review, which would have challenged the hospital's closure.