Staff shortage ‘not to blame’ for health centre incident

A photo of Hay River's health centre uploaded to the Facebook page of the town's health authority
A photo of Hay River's health centre uploaded to the Facebook page of the town's health authority.

Investigations are taking place into an incident at Hay River Regional Health Centre in the early hours of Thursday, May 2.

The Department of Health and Social Services declined to confirm local reports that injuries had occurred during the incident.

The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission said it had attended the health centre as part of an investigation earlier this week.

A spokesperson for the health department said the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority had opened its own “quality assurance investigation” based on what took place, though no details were given.



The Hay River health centre has recently struggled to find locums to cover staff vacations, resulting in reduced and cancelled walk-in appointments.

However, the health department said the incident in question was “not the result of any staffing shortages.”

“Our regular staffing model, which includes two registered nurses [and] one health care aid, were all on shift that evening,” wrote Damien Healy, the department’s manager of communications.

“As we conduct our investigation, we will continue to provide supports for staff where needed,” he said.



The investigation, which is expected to take six weeks, will determine if polices and protocols were followed.

Results of the investigation will not be publicly released as they may contain confidential information related to patients and human resources, the department said.

However, if recommendations are suggested in the report, they may be shared with the public depending on their nature.

Earlier this month, the Hay River health authority said it expected staffing levels to return to normal from May 13.