Lax security contributed to nurse being stabbed, burned – hospital CEO

The security personnel on duty at the Georgetown Pub-lic Hospital (GPH) on Sunday night when a nurse/midwife was attacked by her former lover, failed to perform their duties, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Michael Khan said.

Khan, speaking with Stabroek News briefly via telephone yesterday, said that the negligent security personnel will be dealt with.

He further explained that a security guard is always present at the entrance to the compound where the maternity ward is located. Another security guard, according to the CEO, is stationed in the ward. All security personnel were on duty at the time of the attack.

“We have found that the security on duty at the time Miss [Ursula] Houston was attacked failed to perform their duty and necessary action will be taken,” Khan said. He declined to comment further about the quality of security provided for staff and patients at GPH.

In a press statement yesterday GPHC said that Ursula Houston, a Staff Nurse/ Midwife attached to the hospital’s Maternity Unit, was admitted to the Burn Care Unit. Houston, according to the release, was attacked and sustained “chemical burning to her face and chest and a stab wound to her face.”

The hospital further stated: “Nurse Houston’s condition is listed as stable; she is ambulant, fully conscious and oriented and is resting comfortably.”

Houston, of Lot 11 Laing Avenue, Georgetown, was admitted to the Burn Care Unit following the attack which occurred some time around 7.30 pm on Sunday. Her attacker, a former lover, fled and was still being sought by police yesterday.

Reports reaching this newspaper said the man, known as “Thousand”, stabbed Houston over her left eye with a broken bottle and threw acid on her. Houston, Stabroek News learnt, was stepping out of the nurses’ room at Ward 5 when the man pounced.

When this newspaper visited GPH yesterday co-workers were waiting for a turn to see the injured woman. However, the nurse in charge explained that only two visitors were being allowed to see Houston during every visiting hour.

A relative, who chose to remain anonymous, told Stabroek News that the injured woman shares the Lot 11 Laing Avenue home with a cousin. Further, when questioned about Houston’s relationship with the man and whether he had threatened or attacked her before the relative declined to comment.

“I don’t want to say anything. I don’t want this man to come and look for me and do me anything,” the relative said. “All I can tell you is that they should provide more security for nurses.”

When Stabroek News visited the hospital just after 4.30 pm yesterday, there were two guards present outside the Burn Care Unit. They were monitoring visitors and informed this newspaper that anyone who the victim refused to see or who did not have a relative in the unit will not be allowed access to the waiting room.

Meanwhile, a woman who said she was Houston’s cousin and identified herself only as Abbiola told Stabroek News yesterday that the injured woman was well and speaking.

“Listen, I saw my cousin just now and she tell me that she don’t want this thing in the media and she don’t want her picture or anything in the media so y’all should respect that,” Abbiola stated.

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