One of York’s most historic healthcare providers has set out ambitious plans for the next stage in its evolution.

Quaker-founded The Retreat has been providing a range of psychological and psychiatric services on its Heslington Road campus for more than 200 years.

At the end of 2018 it transferred its inpatient services to the German-owned Schoen Clinic, which has just submitted plans for a new state of the art £13 million hospital on the site.

And now The Retreat’s Trustees have unveiled a three-year blueprint for the future of their outpatient and community services, which aims to build on the organisation’s national reputation for compassionate and collaborative care.

The plans include expanding services for children and young people, setting up a trauma hub for people in mental health crisis, enhancing adult autism and ADHD provision and widening its geographic reach through online assessments and virtual consultations.

Dr Kim Bevan, Chief Officer, Clinical Services said: “The Retreat has a proud history and an exciting future. Since taking the decision to hand over our inpatient services, we’ve been working hard to ensure that what we do moving forward meets the changing needs of our clients and our commissioners.

“Our campus will remain a high quality hub for a wide range of psychological assessment and therapy services, but we want to focus on helping our clients access the help they need in a way that suits today’s lifestyles.

“Our clinicians will continue to provide high quality, evidence-based care but they will increasingly do that in community settings and via new digital communications technologies.”

The Retreat has recently taken responsibility for the provision of autism assessments for children and young people in Scarborough and Ryedale.

And last month it unveiled a new high-tech virtual consultation suite, which will allow its therapy teams to help people with mental health problems from the comfort of their own home.

A recent review into the outcomes and experiences of clients at The Retreat, York, highlighted overwhelmingly positive responses to its therapy services and high satisfaction rates with the care received. When asked about the helpfulness of therapy, 89% of those surveyed said they were satisfied with the therapy service and 95% rated their experience as ‘extremely helpful’. Nearly eight out of ten clients also said they would recommend the Retreat to a friend.

The Retreat’s Trustees are currently exploring options for the potential redevelopment of buildings on its 40 acre site that are no longer suitable for modern healthcare delivery. These include exploring ways to improve public access to its picturesque grounds.

Dr Bevan added: “Although there are lots of positives developments we know there  is always room for improvement. For example, we’re in the middle of a major recruitment drive, are overhauling our mandatory training processes and are working towards making the organisation completely paper free. In addition, we’re continuing to work with commissioners across North Yorkshire on reducing waiting times for autism and ADHD.”

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