GOLDSBORO, N.C. — For nine months more than 100 acute psychiatric care beds have remained empty at a North Carolina hospital, despite patients awaiting treatment.

The News & Observer reports ( ) Cherry Hospital CEO Luckey Welsh says the beds won’t be filled until more psychiatrists are hired. Welsh says nearly 30 patients were waiting for beds the week before May 18.

North Carolina records show the Goldsboro hospital’s staffing number is on par with or exceeds the other two mental hospitals in the state, and staff psychiatrists are paid significantly more.

Sampson Regional Medical Center CEO Shawn Howerton says it’s “frustrating” to watch patients, including adolescents, waiting in Sampson’s emergency department for a spot at Cherry.

State health and human services secretary Mandy Cohen has assembled a team to study the psychiatric facilities.

Information from: The News & Observer,

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.