Raleigh, N.C. — The state has started transferring patients from Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh to the newest psychiatric facility in Butner.
Eight adolescent patients were moved to Central Regional Hospital Tuesday afternoon, Mark Van Sciver, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, said.
Patients from Dorothea Dix's geriatric unit are scheduled to move by the end of next week.
In all, about 100 patients will be moved in phases over the next 90 days. About 120 patients will remain at Dix.
The transition comes more than a year after the $130 million Central Regional opened to eventually house patients from both Dix and John Umstead Hospital.
Patients from Umstead moved into the facility in July 2008, but concerns of disability rights advocates prompted a judge to issue a temporary restraining order that prevented the state from move of Dorothea Dix patients.
That order was lifted last month after DHHS and Disability Rights North Carolina worked to correct more than a dozen safety concerns.
Once the move is complete, the state will save an estimated $500,000 a month, DHHS officials have said.
Dorothea Dix will stay open for the time being as an overflow unit and to house children and adolescents in need of long-term care.