Local News

Catch-22 glitch delaying Dix move

Posted August 26, 2008

— The Department of Health and Human Services says it would like to move patients from Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh to the state's new mental health facility in Butner as soon as possible.

But a technicality in state law is delaying the transfer to the $130 million Central Regional Hospital.

The law requires the hospital to meet the standards of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations before patients move in. The group, however, won't find Central in compliance until the Dix patients have moved in.

Division of Mental Health officials say that with the exception of the patients being there, they believe the hospital is compliant.

Last month, DHHS moved patients from John Umstead Hospital in Butner, but state law requires assurances from two accrediting agencies before Dix patients can move in.

Central, however, will begin accepting new patients to Dix's geriatric ward starting at noon on Wednesday.

Central's opening was delayed for months because of concerns about staffing and safety, all of which the DHHS says have been addressed.

With the exception of a 60-bed facility that will make up the Wake County unit of Central Regional, Dix is expected to close after patients move. The Wake unit is expected to stay open for three years.

An additional 23 beds will be for patients who are being treated at the hospital but are working in the surrounding community.


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  • mpheels Aug 27, 2008

    It makes sense not to allow patients in a hospital until it is accredited. It doesn't make sense to refuse accreditation until after patients are in. So IMHO this is JHCAO's fault, not the state's. The least they could do is have a system for provisional accreditation so hospitals would have proof of their ability to serve patients before the patients show up.

  • InTheWind Aug 26, 2008

    After the goings on at Cherry in the last few years, we should close cherry and keep dix open. This is typical government. Move everything and everyone to it's highest level of imconpetence.

  • coolmusicmom Aug 26, 2008

    My dad retired from DDH ten years ago and they were trying to get the hospital ready for a move back then...I read Dorthea Dix's biography. She would be so sad to see what is going on now. I doubt anyone who is in any part of this move has read it.

  • textilesdiva Aug 26, 2008

    1) I'm still against the closing of Dix. Always have been, and always will
    2) JHACO is completely worthless. Ask any ER provider how helpful JHACO has been, and/or how much healthcare is improved by JHCAO...you will get SUCH A death stare. Or, alternatively, google JHACO sucks/is worthless/shenanigans

  • bpjamesncsu Aug 26, 2008

    itls...while i'm no defender of Easley, this was a General Assembly issue, not a Governor issue.

  • Weetie Aug 26, 2008

    Several of my family members were employed and retired from Dix after 30+ years. It is very sad to know that these patients are being moved so the State of NC can make other arrangements for this property. It was designated for a mental hsopital many, many years ago. It is needed today more than ever. I personally wish they would leave it alone!

  • WHEEL Aug 26, 2008

    That's pretty typical of everything that the Easley administration has done. Why is everyone suprised?

  • FragmentFour Aug 26, 2008

    I suppose there's a very good reason why the legislature wrote the law in conflict with the policies that govern the accreditation body. Like... they didn't bother to READ it, maybe.