YELLOWKNIFE (February 22, 2022) – The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority will resume labour and delivery services at Stanton Territorial Hospital for all NWT residents. This represents a more rapid reopening than previously announced on January 26 and is possible due to improved staffing outlook through March and April.
previously we had announced that the intent was to resume services for NWT residents who were having their second or subsequent child or a planned caesarian section after February 22, 2022. Instead, starting immediately, all NWT residents who have a planned birth at Stanton will be able to give birth in the NWT. During this phase of service resumption Nunavut residents will continue to have care transferred to Alberta with resumption of services to this group to begin as soon as possible.
The phased approach will continue to allow for an adjustment period as volumes return to normal level. This will ensure safe birthing services are available for all individuals giving birth at Stanton and elsewhere.
Stanton will continue to work to ensure adequate staffing in this area by exhausting all possible avenues for recruitment, including pursuing indeterminate staff, casual, and agency nurses, and training and development of local staff to gain the skills needed to work in this specialized area.
NTHSSA leadership will also work hard to ensure current staff have their concerns heard and addressed. Retaining the great staff within the system is even more critical than attracting new talent.
Going forward Stanton will closely monitor staffing levels. As always, if staffing were to reach a state where safety became a concern services would be adjusted accordingly. Everything possible will be done to avoid further service reductions, but safety remains paramount.
We recognize that continued service reductions in labour and delivery has an ongoing impact on individuals and families. The NTHSSA continues to dedicate resources to ensuring a safe and sustainable resumption of full labour and delivery services.
“We understand the disruption that this has caused in residents’ lives and are committed to addressing the root causes that brought us to this point. I’d like to thank NTHSSA leadership and staff for their tireless effort and commitment to ensuring the safe resumption of obstetrics services for NWT residents. As we move toward fully restoring these services, leadership will also continue to work hard to ensure current staff have their concerns heard and addressed. Retaining the great staff within the system is even more critical than attracting new talent.”
- Julie Green, Minister of Health and Social Services
“I would like to recognize the hard work of the staff within Stanton’s Obstetrics unit to get to this point. As we move towards full services our focus will remain on patient safety and quality of care, and we will be working hard to resume services for our patients in Nunavut as soon as possible.”
- Kimberly Riles, CEO of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority.
- The suspension of regular birthing services at Stanton impacted individuals who have due dates between December 10th, 2021 and February 21st, 2022, the first phase of resuming services occurred between February 22 and March 31, 2022.
- By resuming full services for NWT residents starting February 21, NTHSSA has moved ahead of schedule for resumption of services and provided options for a number of families who were planning to travel to deliver their children.
- Stanton has been able to secure staffing through agencies, casual contracts, and continues to pursue a number of indeterminate full-time candidates who have expressed interest.
- Residents in almost all NWT communities need to travel for birthing services and are required to spend time in the community in which they give birth before and after their delivery.
- All individuals traveling to give birth are approved for a non-medical escort for their trip.
Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority
TEL: 867-767-9107 ext. 40150