RALEIGH, N.C. — 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.