For three years, Gov. Deval Patrick has submitted budgets that would eliminate the continuing-care beds at Taunton State Hospital, and for three years, state Sen. Marc R. Pacheco has been fighting to keep 45 beds there.
So far, Pacheco has succeeded, convincing fellow legislators and leading two veto overrides, and we have every reason to believe he will succeed again this year.
Patrick has argued for cutting the beds on the grounds of efficiencies achieved by consolidation, embodied in the state's newest mental health facility envisioned as "the central psychiatric care facility for the entire state," and by "significant advances " reducing the number of people who need long-term care."
There is no doubt that a brand-new facility can provide the latest technological advances, as well as opportunities for groundbreaking research, considering its location in the same city as the UMass Memorial Medical Center, suggesting excellent training benefits for tomorrow's mental health professionals.
The availability of newer technologies argue in favor of Pacheco's cause, however, making it easier, for example, for staff in Taunton to consult with those at other locations.