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NC Department of Health and Human Services

Dix patients to move to Central Regional Hospital starting Oct. 1

Release Date: September 18, 2008
Contact: Tom Lawrence, 919-733-9190

RALEIGH — Dix Hospital patients will begin their move to Central Regional Hospital in Butner on Oct. 1. The move, announced by DHHS Secretary Dempsey Benton, will occur over an eight-day period. Hospital staff, patients and families will be notified of details over the next few days. The new 60-bed Dix-Wake County unit located on the Raleigh campus will become operational at the completion of the transition of Dix patients to the new Granville County hospital.

“I am satisfied that the time has come to move forward with completing the merger of Dorothea Dix Hospital and John Umstead Hospital into the new Central Regional Hospital,” Benton said. “Our attempt to have the hospital accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) depends on the two hospitals functioning together as one unit. It is our conclusion, as well as that of an independent outside reviewer, that the merger is not only safe, but poses fewer risks than leaving the facilities as separate entities. The Legislature’s special provisions have been met to the maximum extent feasible.”

Benton noted that prior to initial occupation, a final review by Dr. Anthony Lindsey, Professor and Vice Chair of the UNC Health Care Department of Psychiatry, and a group of medical professionals from UNC and Duke University determined that earlier safety concerns had been addressed and corrected.

Central Regional Hospital (CRH) has been occupied and in operation since July 21, 2008, when 200 patients and staff from John Umstead Hospital in Butner moved into the new facility. As of Oct. 1, all adult admissions will be sent to CRH, Benton said. The Dix child and adolescent unit will remain open until renovations are completed to house the unit at the CRH campus, scheduled for Dec. 1.  

The move to Butner will be completed in stages, starting with the geropsychiatry and research units on Oct. 1. All new patients in the long-term care unit (CTU) will go to CRH as well after Oct. 1, and current Dix CTU patients and staff will be moved on Oct. 6-7.  The final group to move will be the Dix medium and maximum forensic unit, which is scheduled for Oct. 8. Overall, approximately 170 patients will be relocated and 136 patients will remain at the Dix campus. Planning has been under way for several months to assure that patients’ needs are addressed and that the move is being undertaken with maximum safety conditions.

“The 60-bed Dix-Wake County unit will activate as the transition completes,” Benton said. “Admissions will be triaged at the CRH location to determine whether a patient will be treated at Dix-Wake or CRH.”

Benton said that consideration for whether a patient is treated at the Wake unit or at CRH will depend on the patient’s physical and mental condition, the home area of the patient and the travel distance for the patient and a patient’s family. The Wake unit is expected to have a staff of 175 and will be located in the McBryde Building on the Dix campus.

Benton also announced that a shuttle service for 170 Raleigh-based employees will commence operations on Oct. 1 as well. Employees were asked to sign up for the proposed shuttle in July. Additional employees interested in using the shuttle will be considered after the initial startup. The shuttle will run back and forth between Raleigh and Butner several times a day. Initially, the shuttle service will be free for staff.

“The shuttle will leave the Dix campus one hour and 15 minutes before the start of a shift and will leave the Butner campus 15 minutes after a shift ends,” he said.








Updated: October 14, 2008