Associated Press Published

Short On Staff, Martinsburg VA to Keep Psychiatric Wing Open

Doctor's Exam Room

The Martinsburg VA Medical Center won’t temporarily close its inpatient psychiatric wing amid a psychiatrist shortage.

The facility announced the closure plans on Wednesday. On Friday, Martinsburg said it has averted closing the wing by matching the number of beds with on-call psychiatric coverage.

Eight inpatient psychiatric beds will stay open, and overnight care will continue for those patients.

Incoming patients seeking care after normal working hours or on weekends will be sent to other facilities.

In 2014, Martinsburg had 16 full-time psychiatrists. Retirements and resignations reduced it to five full-time and two part-time. Three more may leave soon.

The facility is using seven part-time or fee-based psychiatrists.

Spokesman Mike McAleer says it should be up to 10 or 11 psychiatrists in coming months.