Answering a Critical Need:

Update on Inpatient Capacity Changes on University Campus
and Impact on 8 East

Information About Our Decision On Our Inpatient Psychiatric Unit

UMass Memorial Medical Center faces an almost daily shortage of available beds for critically ill patients – resulting in emergency department wait times that create potential patient safety issues not only on the University Campus but also across Central Massachusetts.

As the only Level 1 Trauma Center in Central Massachusetts and the region’s safety net hospital, our University Campus emergency department serves the most critical patients – those needing acute care or surgery for life or death situations.  

It is critical that we have the necessary capacity to care for our patients. We believe the best way to address this issue is to add more medical-surgical beds at the University Campus.

We invite you to learn more about our plans by exploring this site.

The Facts About the UMass Memorial 8 East Unit

70% of the patients admitted to 8 East today do not require a medical psychiatric bed and could be well cared for in a freestanding psychiatric facility without medical support.


14 renovated inpatient psychiatry beds at the University Campus will meet the needs of our medically complex patients who require inpatient psychiatric care.


275 new inpatient psychiatry beds have opened or are opening within 30 miles of the Medical Center this year. UMass Memorial has reserved 14 beds in one of these new facilities to offset the reduction of beds on 8 East.


120 new inpatient psychiatry beds would be built in Worcester over the next two years through a proposed UMass Memorial joint venture.



16,254 medical/surgical patients boarded in the Emergency Department (ED) of the Medical Center’s University Campus in FY 2016. Boarding threatens to compromise patient health and safety. Boarding is defined as any patient who is waiting more than two hours within the ED after a physician determines the need to admit to an inpatient floor (acute care/ICU level of care)


539 critically ill or injured patients from our region were transferred to hospitals outside of Central Massachusetts in 2016 because UMass Memorial did not have the inpatient capacity to care for them. When minutes count and while suffering from acute, life-threatening illnesses and injuries, these patients endured trips of 40 or more miles for life-saving care.