For those who have previously been in treatment by a community mental health center, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams respond quickly to a person in crisis with hopes they can remain in their communities.
Other patients arriving at a community hospital for psychiatric care are met by a staff member of the community mental health center for evaluation.
Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro and Memorial Hospital in N Conway do not provide psychiatric care.
Patients must be medically cleared before they can be admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
An average of 22 people per day (including 7 children) are waiting for a bed at the NH Hospital. On one particular day, 44 patients were waiting.
During the waiting time, the hospitals are reimbursed by Medicaid for one emergency room visit even if it lasts for several days.
Inpatient Psychiatric Care
If involuntary admission is deemed necessary, the patient is transported by the sheriff’s department. A hearing before a judge must be granted within 72 hours.
NH Hospital generally accepts only those who are being admitted involuntarily or those who cannot be taken by a private hospital.
Budget reductions, the closure of local hospital inpatient psychiatric units and since 2009 the loss of 60 beds at New Hampshire Hospital (NHH) has led to a waiting list for patients seeking inpatient psychiatric care.
- Admission is based on severity of need. (Those who are most disruptive in the emergency rooms are taken first.)
- The median length of stay is 8 days.
Follow Up Care
Two days after discharge NH Hospital calls to check if patients know how to take their medications and if they have an appointment for community based care. Another call is made at seven days.