On Sunday I went to an anti-austerity march with Caroline and John in Manchester where the Conservative conference was taking place. 80,000 people turned out and the police were not prepared for such a turn out so there was a lot of waiting around to begin with. I’m really glad I went though. Caroline and I made a banner which read ‘closing Bootham is mental’. This is in reference to the outrageous recent closure of the only mental hospital in York. I have written to our MP and the Secretary of State for health about it. This is what I have said:
As a patient of Bootham Hospital I can honestly say how truly grateful I am to have received care from the crisis team there when I was indeed in crisis. I am now in the care of the early intervention team who luckily still have their premises on Union Terrace. Without my amazing family around me I would not have recovered so well to be out of crisis. The clues in the name people: CRISIS! These are the most vulnerable people in our society. They need their family around them every day. How is this possible when they’ve been shipped off to Middlesbrough or Scarborough; more than forty miles away? What kind of upheaval must that have been for the mentally unwell? And let’s not forget all the patients who have been conveniently discharged back into the community. I became ill in Thailand where the only hospital in the entire country that is equipped to cope with mental illness costs £1000 per night. And that’s before any medical expenses. Thankfully, I was able to come home and be treated at Bootham Hospital alongside being close to my family. We need to fight for our NHS to stay running and stop the closure of hospitals like Bootham. It is a beautiful and historical building. If it is ‘not fit for purpose’ then put some money into it and make it so. What about all the empty buildings around the site? Why can’t they be converted into treatment rooms? The CQC had already said, months ago, it was not fit for purpose and changes needed to be made, so why weren’t they?
If you want to help and sign the petition against the closure, please click here. There has not been much coverage in the news about the protest or our fight to save Bootham Hospital so that is why we have to keep on fighting and make ourselves heard.