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Delaware bill seeks to pave way for new psychiatric hospital

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DOVER, Del. (AP) — The state Senate is set to vote on a bill to fast-track construction of a psychiatric hospital in Sussex County by circumventing potential legal challenges.

The legislation cleared a Senate committee Wednesday and was scheduled for a floor vote Thursday.

A state board that regulates the number of hospital beds in Delaware approved the proposed 90-bed facility in Georgetown last year.

But Pennsylvania-based Universal Health Services, which operates the Rockford Center near Wilmington and Dover Behavioral Health in Kent County, has challenged the board’s approval of the Georgetown facility, which would be run by New Jersey-based SUN Behavioral Health. Universal has said the proposed facility is too large and not needed.

But supporters of the bill say there is a dire need for more mental health services in southern Delaware.

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