KEPA Uusimaa newsletter 2/2022 May: The special expertise in disability services in Swedish will be centralised in Uusimaa

Published: 24.5.2022 11.29

From the beginning of 2023, Uusimaa will be divided into four wellbeing service counties and the city of Helsinki. At the same time, the current special care districts for the mentally disabled people, Eteva and Kårkulla, serving the Swedish speaking clients, will be abolished.

It’s best to meet the needs of Swedish-speaking customers with demanding support by centralising the expertise. Demanding support requires the expertise of, for example, doctors, psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation counsellors and therapists. The main goal is to secure services after the abolition of special care districts.

“It is of paramount importance that customers with mental disabilities continue to receive service in their own mother tongue. That is why Kårkulla has emphasised the provision of services in Swedish, if necessary, with special solutions,” says Otto Ilmonen, Director of Kårkulla Municipality.

“In Uusimaa, the current situation of demanding special care services in Swedish is not unambiguous. Swedish-speaking or bilingual families in the Helsinki metropolitan area may choose a Finnish service due to its proximity. It is important for FDUV members that the Local Services work and, if necessary, specific knowledge and expertise is available at a reasonable distance,” says Lisbet Hemgård, Executive Director of FDUV, an organisation for the Swedish-speaking mentally disabled. Hemgård is an invited expert member for the Swedish-language services working group of the Kepa Uusimaa project.

In addition to the organisation representative, the customer perspective on development work has been obtained through a Swedish customer panel and a survey of customers and relatives.

“Based on the results of the customer survey, the three most important factors for the customer experience are the employee’s competence and expertise, encounter skills and the ability to serve in Swedish. The same and other design starting points have partly emerged in the customer panel, which will meet for the second time in May,” says project worker Tiina Hannikainen.

Kepa Uusimaa proposes that Swedish special care services should be centralised in the HUS District. The HUS District is a joint venture of the Uusimaa wellbeing services counties and the City of Helsinki that will also be responsible for Helsinki University Hospital in the future. By centralising expertise, it is possible to secure sufficient, competent and Swedish-speaking personnel so that services can continue during, for example, staff changes or short absences. In addition to the equality and uniformity of services, centralisation is also important because it is possible to implement them close to the customer in Uusimaa. The presentation corresponds to the previous presentation on similar services in Finnish. Final decisions are made in wellbeing services counties.

For more information, please contact:

Markus Paananen
Director of Health Care Services and Chair of the Control Group of KEPA Uusimaa project.
City of Espoo
Tel. 040636 8983

Otto Ilmonen
Samkommunsdirektör, Kårkulla samkommun
Tel. 0247 431007

Risto Vataja
Chief Physician, Head of Geriatrics, Neurology and Addiction Psychiatry, Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa
Tel. 09471 63703

Kati Sihvonen
Project Manager, KEPA Uusimaa
Tel. 040 636 9258

Tiina Hannikainen
Project Specialist, KEPA Uusimaa
Tel. 040 505 9727