Endoscopy services at the new Stanton Territorial Hospital have resumed as of June 18th. The services were originally closed on June 28th as part of the move and further delayed in the reopening due to staffing challenges.
Patients who have had their endoscopy procedures referred out and accepted at other sites in Inuvik or Edmonton will continue with those referred appointments. Some endoscopy procedures will continue to be referred to Alberta, as was the case before the closure.
Services for everyone else will resume in a phased approach as patients will be contacted in phases as appointments become available, noting that this is the first time endoscopy services will be provided in the new hospital so service volumes will ramp up over time.
Since endoscopy nurses require specialized training to deliver this service, the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority have been working to ensure appropriate training and staff resources to ensure the program can be delivered.
Sue Cullen, CEO of the NTHSSA says that the service resumption has been made possible by a mix of locum nursing resources and the training of nursing staff who work at Stanton to ensure they have the specialized skills required to deliver this service and adds that further staff training is ongoing to add capacity to the program as service volumes ramp up.
“We recognize that our staff is our most valuable resource. Ensuring that we are able to recruit, retain, and increase staff capacity to provide quality care and services continues to be a major priority at the NTHSSA.”
Patients who require an endoscopy procedure will be followed up with as appointments become available, appointments will be allocated based on the urgency of need as they always are.