Temporary Suspension of Chemotherapy Services at Stanton Territorial Hospital

YELLOWKNIFE (December 12, 2017) – Today, Sue Cullen, Chief Executive Officer of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority announced a temporary suspension of chemotherapy services at Stanton Territorial Hospital.

In late November 2017 Cancer Control Alberta was invited to review the cancer services delivered at Stanton with a focus on improving patient care pathways as they move between the NWT and Alberta health systems to receive cancer care. As part of this review there were a number of areas identified that require improvement. NTHSSA leadership determined that suspension of the chemotherapy service at Stanton was the best option to ensure patients have access to the highest quality care and services
while improvements are made.

Specific areas that were identified as needing improvement included additional training for staff delivering chemotherapy services and ensuring that program policies and guidelines align with best practices. This change will mean that all current chemotherapy patients will be sent to Edmonton for treatment at the Cross Cancer Institute (CCI) during the suspension of services, and any new referrals to chemotherapy that are received during this period will also be diverted to CCI. Impacted current patients have been notified.

A plan is being put in place to make the required program improvements as quickly as possible so chemotherapy can be reinstated at Stanton. At this time it is expected that services will be reinstated in February 2018.

It is important to note that review of the program at Stanton or the suspension of chemotherapy services were not triggered by any known incident of patient harm, however; once we can assure all patients are being appropriately cared for, a plan will be created to undertake a retrospective review which will assist in determining whether the issues that have been identified have had any impact on patient safety. 

Cancer patients or their families who are currently receiving services at Stanton can direct questions about their plan of care to the Stanton Cancer Coordinator at 867-669-4310. Anyone with questions or concerns about their care in the past can contact the NTHSSA Quality, Safety and Client Experience division at 867-669-4101.


“Ensuring patient safety and quality of our services is of the utmost importance to everyone at Stanton and throughout the NTHSSA. I would like to thank Cancer Control Alberta for their support in this review and I know that patients will receive quality care in Alberta while we make the required improvements
to reinstate our chemotherapy services in the NWT.”
- Sue Cullen, CEO of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority.


Quick Facts

  • Chemotherapy services have been delivered at Stanton Territorial Hospital since November,1991.
  • At this time all intravenous chemotherapy and some oral chemotherapy drugs have stopped being administered at Stanton Territorial Hospital.
  • The NTHSSA and Stanton will still be involved in providing care to Cancer patients; however treatment services related to chemotherapy will temporarily be delivered in Edmonton.
  • The suspension of services began on December 8, 2017.
  • At this time there are 30 impacted patients, all of which have been notified.
  • Alberta Health Services is the primary referral partner for health services not currently available in the Northwest Territories including access to cancer care consultation services and, as appropriate, treatment services. NWT residents are regularly treated for cancer in Alberta.

Media Contact

David Maguire
Manager, Communications
Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority
TEL: 867-767-9107 ext. 40150
EMAIL: david_maguire@gov.nt.ca