Butler Hospital moves closer to adding 26 beds

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Butler Hospital is one step closer to adding 26 permanent beds to its campus. A state committee has voted 5 to 1 to recommend a new two story building at the psychiatric hospital.

Patricia Recupero, the President and CEO of Butler, says the new rooms will take a lot of pressure off the state's emergency rooms, which house patients while they're waiting for mental health services.

"We're trying to avoid the problem we currently have of psychiatric patients being held there waiting [for] a placement because there are no beds in this state," Recupero says.

Critics of the expansion say the state should focus its efforts on increasing outpatient mental health services to prevent patients from needing an overnight bed.

The entire Health Services Council will vote on the $17 million building project on October 26. The council usually approves the recommendations of its project review committee.