Hospital Wants To Close Psych Ward

New York Presbyterian hospital is asking the state for permission to decertify the psychiatric ward in there Allen Hospital in Inwood. The 30-bed facility provides inpatient treatment for hundreds of people from the area each year and local communities fear what a closure will bring.

Community Board 12 Chairman Shah Ally worries that folks who use the hospital currently will give up on their treatment if they have to search out another facility. Shah said, "With the psychiatric wing closing bad things are going to happen, whether it's people killing themselves or killing someone else".

Anthony Ciampa who works at Allen Hospital as a nurse spoke recently at a public hearing and informed the group that the people being treated at the hospital are "low-functioning patients with histories of violence." 

In a vote taken last month the proposal to shut down the Allen Hospital psychiatric facility was voted down 34-0. If the plan to close the ward is approved it would reduce New York-Presbyterian's psychiatric beds by nearly 8%.

A Bronx resident who has repeatedly used the facility said he would be in trouble if the ward closes. He uses the ward for help with his depression and was brought to Allen Hospital after he attempted suicide by jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge.

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