Dix patient transfer will begin Oct. 1

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Patients from Dorothea Dix mental hospital in Raleigh will be moved to the new Central Hospital in Butner starting Oct. 1.

Health and Human Services Secretary Dempsey Benton announced the decision Thursday, several months after the patients were supposed to be relocated. Safety and worker concerns have delayed the move.

About 170 Dix patients will be relocated to Central, which opened in July and took patients from nearby John Umstead Hospital.

Child patients will remain at Dix for now. An overflow unit for Wake County patients also will open on the Dix campus.

The Legislature said Central had to meet outside safety standards before Dix patients could move. Benton said such accreditation isn't possible until the merger is done. But he said the transfer has been thoroughly reviewed.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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