CHETWYND -- Chetwynd area residents are speaking out after being left in the dark about another hospital diversion last night.

“Shame on Northern Health… My husband just brought our injured child in from Moberly Lake to find ER closed,” wrote one resident on the Facebook group ‘Northern Health Chetwynd & Area’.

According to Northern Health, the emergency department closed at approximately 7:30 p.m. last night and did not reopen until 2:00 a.m. this morning.

The health authority says the closure was unplanned after a patient transfer to Fort St. John needed to be accompanied by a registered nurse to assist with care.

However, no notice of the diversion led patients to show up to the hospital only to be turned away.

“When the cause of a service interruption is sudden or unexpected, or it occurs after hours, it is challenging to provide notifications in real time,” said Northern Health in a statement to CJDC-TV.

The Health Authority cites short notice of sudden or unexpected staff absences, and multiple trauma patients arriving to the hospital at one time as reasons behind sudden diversions.

“Services can also return to normal on short notice, as shift coverage is arranged, more staff resources arrive, or as patients are treated and transferred,” said Northern Health.

It's the second time this month Northern Health has failed to notify residents of a closure.

Last week, the Dawson Creek hospital faced backlash for a sudden diversion that came without notice on their social media channels, in particular Facebook, an outlet many use to confirm hospital updates.

Northern Health adds that it is important that patients always call 9-1-1 for life-threatening medical emergencies.

“Any time services are interrupted, our partners in patient transfer and local health services are notified and signage will be in place at the hospital informing patients to call 9-1-1 for transport,” said Northern Health.

This latest diversion in Chetwynd marks the fifth time in the last two weeks the ER has been forced to shut down.

In the last six months, there have been 18 diversions at the Chetwynd hospital.