Local News

Director wants to move forward with Dix move

Posted August 27, 2008 6:14 p.m. EDT
Updated August 27, 2008 9:47 p.m. EDT

— The director of the state's new mental hospital in Butner says plans to transfer patients there from Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh should move ahead.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that interim Central Regional Hospital director Michael Lancaster recommended this week that the state begin finalizing efforts to move patients.

The state has been working for months to complete the transfer, but it has been delayed because of safety issues.

"While there have been issues that we have addressed at CRH and will continue to address as a result of the transition to a new building and new technology, we feel confident none of these issues poses a significant risk to patients or staff," Lancaster said in a letter to DHHS Secretary Dempsey Benton.

The Legislature said this summer that Central Regional must comply with two accrediting agencies's standards before completing the move.

Lancaster said it's not possible, however, to meet one of the agency's standards until there are patients in the facility. Representatives of the other agency have told regulators everything is in place for a successful transfer.

Central already had admitted patients from nearby John Umstead Hospital.