Concord, NH – Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Chairman David Boutin, R-Hooksett, issued the following statement today after the passage of legislation to authorize (HB624) and fund (SB235) a ten-bed mental health stabilization unit at the New Hampshire Hospital:
“Recent incidents at the Elliot Hospital as well as reports of increased workloads at emergency rooms across New Hampshire have heightened the importance of creating additional bed space at the New Hampshire Hospital as soon as possible. As a result of the legislation passed today, the stabilization unit beds will be available more than a year ahead of schedule in order to improve care for patients in need of psychiatric services and alleviate pressure at community hospitals. I appreciate my Senate colleagues’ willingness to move these important amendments though the Senate quickly.”
During Thursday’s session, the Senate passed an amendment to HB624 which authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to begin construction of a the planned stabilization ahead of the previously authorized schedule. A second amendment, to SB235, appropriates nearly $411,000 to the New Hampshire Hospital to fund the operational costs associated with the new unit.