Wellbeing services counties take over as primary coordinators of health and social services
As of the start of the new year, more and more of the coordination of health and social services is now the responsibility of service providers, i.e. the newly established wellbeing services counties. Each wellbeing services county is responsible for the standard of the services it provides internally or buys from third parties. Discharging this responsibility requires self-monitoring to ensure that all applicable laws and regulations are complied with and contracts for services honoured. Through self-monitoring, wellbeing services counties must ensure, in particular, the availability, continuity, safety and standard of services, as well as the fair and equal treatment of clients and patients. Wellbeing services counties are also responsible for the actions of the service providers they use as well as their service providers’ subcontractors. This responsibility stems from the Act on the Coordination of Health and Social Services.
Self-monitoring is essentially about quality control, risk management and ensuring the continuity of services as well as client and patient safety. Self-monitoring is always prioritised over other forms of control, as it gives access to real-time information at the level of service providers. The official supervisory authorities – Valvira and Regional State Administrative Agencies – only intervene if self-monitoring fails. The official supervisory authorities’ role is to give guidance and support to wellbeing services counties and to ensure that they have self-monitoring procedures in place. Self-monitoring makes it possible to anticipate and prevent issues and to address non-compliances before they escalate, which is in everyone’s interests.
Wellbeing services counties have been instructed to notify the competent supervisory authority promptly of any non-compliances or failures that have the potential to significantly compromise client or patient safety. The supervisory authorities reciprocate by promptly sharing any intelligence they have about non-compliances or failures that have the potential to significantly compromise client or patient safety with the wellbeing services county whose service provider or subcontractor is to blame for the issues.
Each wellbeing services county must have a self-monitoring policy
Wellbeing services counties have a legal obligation to draw up a self-monitoring policy. A self-monitoring policy is a document that describes how the availability, safety and standard of social and health services as well as the fair and equal treatment of clients and patients is monitored and what the procedure is for addressing non-compliances. The number-one objective is to ensure that any issues that have the potential to significantly compromise client or patient safety, compliance with the applicable laws and regulations or the fundamental rights of clients and patients can be addressed promptly and efficiently.
Further information: Director Helena Mönttinen, +358 (0)29 520 9404