John Umstead Hospital has had it’s share of issues, which were made public the end of last year after almost losing Federal funding for safety violations for both patient and staff. Now after this unfortunate incident maybe the employee concerns will be heard instead of dismissed. State funding cuts have clearly put staff at risk and understandability this is the main reason many employees are asking that the new Central Regional Hospital’s opening be delayed for at least 1 year. Central Regional was originally slated to open March of 08 but due to building design flaws creating safety issues and staffing deficiencies the opening has been delayed time and time again. It will be interesting to see if how this incident is explained.

RALEIGH – A patient with a history of violence severely beat a nurse at a state mental hospital in Butner early Monday, breaking bones in her face and pulling out clumps of hair.

John Umstead Hospital was cited by federal regulators in December for the failure of administrators to control violent incidents involving staff and patients. The assault comes amid concern that staffing cuts at the state’s four mental hospitals are making the facilities increasingly dangerous.

An investigative report says patient Scott Schoeller, 33, walked into the nurse’s office on Ward 352 at Umstead about 2 a.m. and started beating nurse Lisa McClure in the head and face.

Officers with Butner Public Safety are seeking a felony charge against Schoeller of assault inflicting serious bodily injury, according to the investigative report.

McClure, 38, was taken to the emergency room at Durham Regional Hospital, where she was treated and released.

Her husband said Tuesday it will take time for her to recover.

“Her face is still so swollen the doctors can’t fully assess the extent of her injuries,” said Bobby McClure, who is also a nurse.

McClure said that his wife had repeatedly expressed concern about staffing levels on the night shift at Umstead and that she might be attacked by a patient.Schoeller had recently used a chair to break out windows in the hospital.

Jim Osberg, the director of the state mental hospital system, said the 15-patient, all-male ward where the beating occurred was fully staffed with three nurses and a health-care technician.

The four staff members on duty were all female, however.

Hospital managers don’t always have the numbers of staff available to assign male workers with male patients, Osberg said.

Lisa McClure is 5-foot-2. Her attacker is 6-foot-1, according to the police report.

Court records indicate Schoeller has faced criminal charges for violent acts at least six times in the past seven years, including convictions for assault on a public official in 2002 and for assault on a female in 2006. He served five months in state prison for the 2002 assault, according to records.

Read the entire story here.

My questions are simple ones. Why was a male patient with a criminal history of assault on staff, unsupervised walking the halls at 2:00AM and no one realized has movements (Hello security) until it was too late? Were there not any men assigned to this ward? To Mrs. McClure, I wish you and your family a speedy recover both physically and emotionally .