Earlier this month, Lisa Lambert, an advocate for families of children with mental illness, posted an opinion piece here on the pending loss of Cambridge Hospital children’s psychiatric beds — beds long especially valued by families. The hospital had announced that it would consolidate two units of 27 beds into one with just 16, citing tight budgets, declining utilization and cyclical demand.
Lambert, executive director of the Parent/Professional Advocacy League, wrote:
No one likes the idea of admitting a young child to an inpatient psychiatric program. It is a last resort, something to be avoided at all costs. Parents will tell you, however, that when they’ve exhausted all the options, Cambridge Hospital has provided the best possible care. Now, it seems that a major piece of that care is coming to a close, unless a miracle happens.
It looks like Lisa Lambert got her miracle. This just in from the Massachusetts Nurses Association:
The Department of Public Health has just issued its findings regarding the proposed plan by Cambridge Health Alliance to close its nationally recognized child psychiatric unit for the care of young children with acute mental illness (The DPH letter text appears at the end of this release) The DPH finds that this unit provides an essential service that is “necessary for preserving access and health status in the Cambridge Hospital’s service area, which for the children and adolescents it serves extends throughout Eastern Massachusetts.” Continue reading