Do you require several types of social and healthcare services? Experts by experience help improve the services

Published: 31.1.2022 10.06

The support services for the Western Uusimaa wellbeing services county are being developed by a group of experts by experience consisting of residents who use various social and healthcare services. The aim is for everyone to receive services smoothly. Jaana and Pirjo, experts by experience, wish that people would be approached comprehensively and it would be easy to give feedback.

The open application process for the group of experts by experience started in the autumn, and 25 residents from around Western Uusimaa applied. The group convenes about once a month to discuss their hopes and ideas. Sometimes, they also work on things in between meetings through various tasks.

The goal of the work is for the upcoming Western Uusimaa wellbeing services county to serve all residents equally and provide quick access to our services. It is also important that, as a customer of our services, you receive a clear and comprehensible client plan and know whom to contact. When needed, you will receive care and services from a team consisting of multiple professionals.

Let us ask two experts by experience about their opinions. In this article, we will call them Jaana and Pirjo, according to their wishes.

You can make a difference by participating

Jaana and Pirjo joined the experts by experience group since they believe in the importance of influencing. The work has gone well, and they recommend acting as an expert by experience also to other residents, when such opportunities arise.

“You can fix things only by influencing and giving feedback,” Pirjo says.

“After all, the services are made for us, so it’s good that we are involved. I’m happy to be able to influence things, and this group is one of the ways to do that. For example, for a pensioner like me, acting as an expert by experience is a good way to participate in society. There are people of various ages involved,” Jaana says.

Experts by experience wish to see simpler services

Pirjo and Jaana would like the services to be easier to use. Pirjo would like to see easier ways of providing feedback and that a person would be treated as an entity, not ‘piece by piece.’

“A person with multiple conditions or illnesses can only book a doctor’s appointment for one matter at a time. It would be better to discuss the other symptoms and treat them more extensively at the same time. What people need and what is being offered do not necessarily match,” Pirjo says.

For her part, Jaana believes it is important that there would be one person responsible for a patient’s affairs within the healthcare services.

“If you see a different doctor every time, your overall situation may not be seen. An older person may have several illnesses, in which case everything affects everything: your medications and your social life,” Jaana explains.

Digital tools may make it easier to take care of things – different residents taken into account during development 

Jaana has had a long career in ICT, and she also wants to express in the experts by experience group how we can make things easier through sufficiently modern and interactive digital tools. At the same time, we will also save the employees’ time.

“It would be smart for the person themselves to take care of their own affairs; they wouldn’t need to call and queue for a healthcare professional to check their appointment time or revise a doctor’s statement. The medical reports could have a comment field on the side of the document in case something is incorrect. You can save time with small things,” Jaana states.

Like Jaana, Pirjo is happy to take care of her own affairs on a computer:

“It’s really nice and easy for everyone: both for the residents and the staff.”

Naturally, the development teams will also pay attention to the residents who are unable to use digital services.

The group provided many good ideas

Satu Meriläinen-Porras, the project manager of the experts by experience group, is excited about the group, which has provided good ideas for developing the services. At the moment, the group meets via remote connections, as requested by the members.

“It’s delightful how constructive, goal-oriented and positive it has been to work together. If feels like everyone has a positive attitude and understands that this is a great entity and the changes will not happen overnight,” Satu Meriläinen-Porras says.

Would like to stay updated on the development of the services? Joining the Ideal Social and Health Services Community and subscribing to our newsletter is worthwhile! Enquiries about the experts by experience group: satu.merilainen-porras@espoo.fi

  • Wellbeing Services County