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Official Press Release

Contact:Tom Lawrence

Date: July 15, 2008

Central Regional Hospital preparing to open

RALEIGH – Central Regional Hospital has cleared its pre-opening regulatory hurdles and will begin accepting patients next week.

The state’s new $130 million psychiatric hospital in Butner today received notice of compliance with federal and state safety requirements. In a letter to DHHS Secretary Dempsey Benton, the state Division of Health Service Regulation said the new hospital had passed inspections for state licensing rules and for federal Medicare and Medicaid’s Life Safety Code requirements. “It is our opinion that the construction of this facility is safe for use by patients, staff and visitors,” the letter states.

The regulatory findings are the latest in a series of inspections and reviews that have found Central Regional Hospital to be safe and ready to accept patients:

  • The facility’s design architecture firm last month reported that the facility was “built in accordance with the plans and specifications.”
  • An outside architect and expert in psychiatric safety toured the unopened hospital and wrote in June that, “The overall design and configuration of the facility is, in my opinion, quite good and will help set a new standard for state psychiatric hospitals.”
  • A team of psychiatric health care professionals, many from UNC and Duke, who were asked by Secretary Benton to review the facility and note safety concerns, in June found “significant progress in assuring the safety of patients” since an earlier visit. The group further noted, “This beautiful new hospital building will be a significant improvement over the existing facilities at Dix and Umstead Hospitals once the building is fully opened and operational. Many improvements have been made, but first and foremost we recognized that this facility is significantly safer than either Dix or Umstead Hospitals.”
  • Executive staff of the new hospital indicated “unanimous support” for beginning the transition of patients and staff into the new hospital. Hospital administrators reported “staffing in place provides a secure environment for patients and staff.”

Central Regional Hospital will open to its first patients during the week of July 21, when 200 patients from John Umstead Hospital, also in Butner, will be transferred into the new hospital. Umstead staff have been trained in the new hospital’s policies and safety procedures, several of which make use of wireless technology.

The transfer of adult acute and elderly patients from Umstead will take place the week of July 21; juvenile patients will remain at the Umstead facility in a new child and adolescent unit. The transition from Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh will occur at a subsequent date.



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