Cape Breton hospitals are strengthening their narcotics policies after an employee at the Northside General Hospital was caught pilfering drugs last year.

The police investigation led officers to a 50-year-old woman employed by the North Sydney hospital.

Cape Breton District Health Authority spokesman Greg Boone said based on what they discovered, the district has bolstered its policies for employees handling narcotics.

“We also made immediate changes to our controls and processes for handling narcotics and some changes were based on what we discovered," he said.

"There [are] always again routine checks and audits that are being done around medications and sometimes we discover problems. It’s not always a theft but in this case it was a routine check that led to us finding this and then we made changes."

Boone said the district was already working on a new automated dispensing system at the time of the theft. It makes sure the right person gets the right medication.

Boone said the new system will also improve the security around drugs so they don't end up in the wrong hands.

No one would comment on how many narcotics were taken, but it was a large enough amount for the police to consider trafficking charges.

Cape Breton police spokeswoman Desiree Vassallo said police didn’t lay charges because the woman agreed to take part in a restorative justice program.

Because the woman was never charged her name is not being released.

“Clearly the person identified in this case was working for the district at the time, but they're not working now for the district,” said Boone.