THE number of wards at York’s Bootham Park Hospital is to be cut from three to two as the region’s NHS trust looks to save money.

The merger of wards will lead to the loss of one hospital bed, but North Yorkshire and York Mental Health Services said there would be no job losses as a result of the shake-up.

John Clare, associate director of mental health, said: “We are confident that the amalgamation of wards at Bootham Park will help to improve the quality of care provided and ultimately result in shorter length stays for patients.

“The move will also help us to reduce some of the overheads of running a third ward which currently, with the added financial pressures being faced by the NHS, are unsustainable.

“It is important to point out that we are only reducing total bed numbers by one and staffing levels will remain the same.”

There are currently three wards in operation at Bootham Park – two single-sex wards and one which treats patients with serious mental health needs and “greater nursing needs”.

The trust said the amalgamation of the latter acute ward with the two single-sex ones would see each being covered by a dedicated clinical lead nurse and a shared clinical psychologist.

The changes follow an announcement earlier this year that mental health services in York and Selby will soon be taken over by Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust.

NHS North Yorkshire and York awarded the contract to the Leeds trust in January as part of a huge tendering process of its mental health services.

The handover is expected to take place early in November.