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Portsmouth Hospital Adds Beds to Ease Statewide Psychiatric Backlog

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Portsmouth Regional Hospital
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Portsmouth Regional Hospital will open more beds to psychiatric patients. The hospital hopes those beds will alleviate a backlog of patients boarded in emergency rooms.

On one day last month, a record 68 patients in acute mental health crises were stuck in emergency rooms around the state, waiting for a bed at New Hampshire Hospital, the state's lone psychiatric hospital. Now Portsmouth Regional will increase its inpatient psychiatric beds from eight to twelve in the hopes of chipping away at that wait time. 

"I think this is a starting point and we just felt compelled to be a part of that solution," says CEO Dean Curucci.

Carucci adds the hospital made the decision after being lobbied by Jeff Meyers, the Commissioner of the state Department of Health and Human Services. Portsmouth Regional may add more beds in the coming months.

Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance writer and radio reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.

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