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In Crisis

Franklin hospital clears first hurdle to opening new beds for psychiatric care

A plan to open 10 new beds for inpatient psychiatric care at Franklin Regional Hospital cleared its first hurdle yesterday, receiving a designation of “not subject to review” from the state Health Services Planning and Review Board.

The board oversees inpatient health care projects that carry more than $1 million in construction costs. The hospital expects to spend about $780,000 in upgrades to security and accessibility of the former obstetrics unit.

The project is slated to open Oct. 1 and would increase the available inpatient community hospital psychiatric beds in the state from 8 to 18. In 1998, there were 101 such beds available.

SARAH PALERMO

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