'There was no choice.' Understaffing forces state to close 70+ psychiatric beds

'There was no choice.' Understaffing forces state to close 70+ psychiatric beds

More than 70 long-term psychiatric beds at three of the state of Michigan's behavioural facilities had to be temporarily closed due to a perfect storm brought on by understaffing and deteriorating hospital infrastructure. The bed closures, which started earlier this year, are in response to a string of violent occurrences involving men and women who were unable to access mental health care. The senior deputy state hospital administrator, Dr. George Mellos, stated, "I did not wish to make this decision. There was no other option. It was about the security of the employees and the patients. The Walter Reuther Hospital in Westland has temporarily closed 20 beds, while Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital has shut down 50 beds. Both hospitals cater to adults, but they both experience acute nurse and direct care worker shortages.

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