Council of State approves closing Dix

The General Assembly now has the final say on whether to close the 156-year-old psychiatric hospital.

Posted Updated

Mark Binker

The Council of State has given its blessing to Department of Health and Human Services plans to close the Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh. 

Gov. Bev Perdue and other statewide elected officials voted unanimously to allow the last 30 patient beds to move from the downtown Raleigh Dix campus to the new Central Regional Hospital in Butner. 

"I believe they will receive better care," Delia told the Council of State Tuesday morning. 

The General Assembly could stop the transfer by passing a bill during the May legislative session. Barring that, the patient transfer will go forward. A memo to the council of state said the transfer was scheduled to happen Aug. 10, but DHHS officials have suggested that may not be the exact date. 

Delia said that the General Assembly stopped the transfer last year, but did not provide additional funds to operate the downtown Raleigh hospital. If lawmakers continue to block the move, he said, the state will continue to spend more money than budgeted. 

Related and worth noting: The final patients on the Dix campus are "forensic" patients, those ordered into treatment following a court proceeding. The state is negotiating with Florida-based GEO Care over a contract that would turn care of the state's roughly 90 forensic psychiatric patients over to the private company. Click here to read more about that story.


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