UNC Health Care has opened a new mental hospital in Wake County after building repairs caused a two-month delay.
UNC Wakebrook opened its inpatient facilities last week across from WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh. UNC and Monarch NC have been absorbing Wake County's mental health patients since the county sold off its services earlier this year. Wakebrook administrator Paula Bird says UNC originally planned to open 16 inpatient rooms when public health clinics shut down in July.
"We had a huge amount of rain that occurred during that time. We had to do some repairs on the roof, so I think it's just the usual hiccups of trying to get something set up and started, and waiting for everyone to be able to do it at the same time," Bird says.
She says the hospital is designed to handle the increasing demand for inpatient and outpatient services in Wake County.
"Our patients are going to be able to move through our system, getting the care that they need, but opening up those more acute beds for patients that need them. So I think that we'll be able to have a flow that allows us to see more patients, and those patients that truly to have a higher level of care will have access to those beds in a more timely basis," Bird says.
The facility is a product of an agreement between WakeMed and UNC after WakeMed made a bid to buy Rex Healthcare in 2011. WakeMed withdrew the bid after UNC agreed to invest $30 million in Wake County.