5 mental health hospitals ordered to halt admissions after 108 staff resignations

The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services ordered five state-run psychiatric hospitals to halt admissions because of staffing and safety concerns, according to The Progress-Index

Department commissioner Alison Land said she closed the facilities to ensure patient safety. The five hospitals experienced 108 resignations in the past few weeks while seeing an uptick in admissions. 

The order affects five of the eight state-run psychiatric hospitals: Central State Hospital in Petersburg; Western State Hospital in Staunton; Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg; Piedmont Geriatric Hospital in Burkeville; and Catawba Hospital in Roanoke.

“Despite our aggressive recruiting and retention strategies, state hospitals continue to lose staff while admissions continue to rise," Ms. Land wrote in a July 9 message. "It is no longer feasible to operate all state beds in a safe and therapeutic environment."

Ms. Land also is ordering the hospitals to reduce their bed capacity "to a point that allows them to consolidate their staffing levels."

The order takes effect immediately. There was no time frame for when admissions will resume. 

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