White Coat Notes

McLean Hospital wins approval for $12.5 million expansion in Belmont

McLean Hospital won state approval Wednesday for a $12.5 million expansion of its Belmont campus. The project features a three-story addition to its existing admissions building and 31 new beds for psychiatric patients.

The Public Health Council approved the project, which the hospital said is needed because of increasing demand for psychiatric treatment, particularly in its short-term care and psychotic disorders units.

As a condition of approval, the state is requiring the hospital to expand interpreter services for patients who do not speak English. McLean must revise its policy to make clear that interpreters are available free to patients. The hospital also must post signs around the campus offeringe language services.

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The hospital, which is part of Partners HealthCare System, currently has 152 beds in Belmont and another 25 at its Brockton satellite.

Psychiatric services in Massachusetts hospitals have been threatened recently.

Cambridge Health Alliance had planned to eliminate child psychiatry beds to save money, until the state last month determined the service is critical to “preserving access and health status” for children and teens throughout eastern Massachusetts.

In March, after heavy state scrutiny, Partners said it would reduce proposed cuts to inpatient mental health services at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital.

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