PROPOSALS to shut mental health inpatient care in Harrogate have led to fears that some patients in York will be treated further from home, according to a councillor.

A report prepared for North Yorkshire County Council’s health scrutiny committee says money saved through the reduction in beds would be invested in community services.

It adds that patients will receive inpatient treatment at other nearby specialist hospitals.

Speaking at a City of York Council meeting, councillors raised concerns about the impact the closure will have on the city’s new mental health hospital.

Cllr Paul Doughty said: “So far that it’s been suggested that the inpatients services in Harrogate might close and that might have an impact on our services, and obviously the new mental health hospital.

“The new mental health hospital was set in a model to serve our residents and I would hate to see a situation where we were having to send our residents out of area again because we’re having to accept residents from other areas.”

Healthwatch North Yorkshire has also raised concerns over the plans.

Operations manager Nigel Ayre, who is also a Liberal Democrat councillor for Heworth Without, said: “We have been told that service users do not want to travel a long way for inpatient care and that continuity of care and the ability of support networks to aid in recovery are negatively impacted when inpatient care is not provided locally.”

In June councillors heard the new mental health hospital, on Haxby Road, will open four months later than originally planned - in April 2020 - and the budget has gone up by £8 million.