After a private tour of Concord Hospital’s emergency department, which on one day in February had 22 patients awaiting psychiatric services in a space designed for 6, Governor Sununu told reporters New Hampshire needs as many as 50 new beds for mental health patients, but he wants to create a mental health system where demand is less.
“In the long term my hope is that we don’t need 50 beds, additional beds, at N.H. Hospital, by expanding our regional capacity. That’s kind of the evolution that we are going to work through. We are going to have to handle this backlog that we have but at the same time design a system that hopefully doesn’t need the massive amount of beds that are actually probably required today.”
Sununu says the plan he’s been working on with Senate leaders to improve the state's mental health system will be taken up by a Senate committee Tuesday. He says the discussion of how to increase capacity at NH hospital and bolster community-based services will also be part of the Senate’s work on the state budget.