Virginia officials warn of state hospital bed shortage

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia mental health officials are warning that state hospitals could run out of room over the Independence Day holiday weekend.

Dr. Hughes Melton, state commissioner of behavioral health and developmental services, issued a warning to mental health agencies, private psychiatric hospitals and law enforcement officials. Melton said there will be times over the weekend when there will not be any open staffed beds at state hospitals.

That could force people to wait in temporary custody until beds become available in public or private psychiatric facilities.

Melton told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the state will work with its partners to delay the admission of people under temporary detention orders because they pose a threat to themselves or others. He said the state will not allow those patients to leave without treatment.


Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch,

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