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Health and social services reform in Helsinki
Helsinki’s health and social services and the services of the Rescue Department together formed the new Social Services, Health Care and Rescue Services Division on 1 January 2023. The funding for the new sector comes from the state, and the budget of the Social Services, Health Care and Rescue Services Division is separated from the municipality of Helsinki’s budget in the city budget. The personnel will continue to work as city employees.
Elsewhere in Finland, the responsibility for organising social and health care services and rescue services was transferred to wellbeing services counties. This does not apply to Helsinki. Helsinki will continue to be responsible for organising social and health care services and rescue services.
In addition, day activity and housing service units for the disabled were transferred to the new division from the Swedish-speaking Kårkulla joint municipal authority.
Unlike elsewhere in Finland, pupil and student welfare in Helsinki will remain part of the Education Division, but it will also receive its funding from the state.
The health and social services reform was prepared in two project packages in Helsinki in 2020−2022: The Structural Reform project and the Future Health and Social Services Centre project. The Future Health and Social Services Centre project will continue until the end of 2023.
Key stakeholders such as residents, personnel, organisations and associations participated in the preparation of the health and social services reform.
City-level steering group
A city-level steering group was appointed for the health and social services reform in February 2021. The steering group coordinated Helsinki’s joint preparations for the implementation and execution of the health and social services reform. The chairman of the city-level steering group was Sami Sarvilinna, City Manager, and the vice-chairman was Juha Jolkkonen, Executive Director of the Social Services and Health Care Division.
Social and Health Care Services and Rescue Services Reform Sub-Committee
A Social Services, Health Care and Rescue Services Reform Sub-Committee was established under the City Board in September 2021.
The task of the sub-committee was to steer and monitor the reform planning and preparation tasks. The sub-committee made proposals to the City Board on changes to the City of Helsinki’s management system and organisational structure related to the reform.
The operation of the sub-committee ended at the end of 2022.
Projects of the health and social services reform
The health and social services reform was prepared in Helsinki in two project packages: The Structural Reform project and the Future Health and Social Services Centre project. The Future Health and Social Services Centre project will continue until the end of 2023.
Health and social services will be developed in the Future Health and Social Services Centre project. The project continues the services reform process previously carried out by Helsinki. The aim of the project is to:
- improve equal and timely access to and continuity of services;
- shift the focus of activities to preventive and proactive work;
- ensure the quality and effectiveness of services;
- strengthen the multidisciplinary and interoperable nature of services; and
- curb the increase in costs.
The future health and social services centre will consist of services provided by three existing operating models – health and wellbeing centres, family centres and services for senior citizens. The project will further develop the operating models in accordance with its objectives.
Development focus areas
The following 13 spearheads on which the work will focus have been defined for the project to reform health and social services:
- Developing the process of becoming a customer and joint work according to customer segmentation
- Developing the Stadin Sote brand and its attraction and retention
- Access to non-urgent care within 7 days
- Development of mental health services
- Preventive/outreach work, support for people at the risk of social exclusion
- Functional building of the concept of the Future Health and Social Services Centre
- Integration of services for people with disabilities into health and social services
- Diabetes centre
- Chains of services for preventing domestic violence and substance abuse for children and families
- Immigrant work
- Digital services
- Developing the productivity of home care
- Contract management and developing the multi-producer model
- Report of the self-assessment of Helsinki's Future Health and Social Services Centre programme 2020-2023, autumn 2022 (pdf, in Finnish)(Link leads to external service)
- Innokylä: Helsinki's Future Health and Social Services Centre(Link leads to external service)
- Future Health and Social Services Centre (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL, in Finnish)(Link leads to external service)
Project Manager Anne Ojanen, email@example.com(Link opens default mail program)
Coordinating Project Manager Lars Rosengren, firstname.lastname@example.org(Link opens default mail program)
The aim of the structural reform was to ensure that Helsinki would utilise more efficient and effective management and steering models as the organiser of health and social services in the future. Better coordination of service packages and avoiding overlapping services will help curb cost increases.
The structural reform project focused on
- strengthening the role of the services organiser and developing steering for service providers;
- reviewing the physical and digital service network and planning the necessary reforms;
- defining the most important service chains and packages;
- developing management and knowledge-based management, and
- preparing other measures related to curbing cost increases, such as HUS’s steering.
As part of the structural reform, cooperation was pursued in Uusimaa in developing the organisation and steering of and cooperation in specialised medical care.
The structural reform project finished at the end of 2022.
Organisations and the health and social services reform
Helsinki prepared a new joint model for cooperation between organisations and the city-level development of grant allocation as part of the health and social services reform.
To promote cooperation between organisations, Helsinki decided to establish a city-level organisation advisory board. The purpose of the advisory board is to cover the operative field related to the city’s operations and different target groups as broadly as possible. The City Board appointed the organisation advisory board in February 2023.
Communications will be clarified and harmonised, and grant practices developed with grant applicants in the City of Helsinki’s grant allocation process.
A seminar on organisational cooperation in Helsinki after the health and social services reform on 15 November 2022
The seminar discussed the impact of the health, social and rescue services reform on Helsinki’s services, the new service strategy, the City’s way of cooperating with organisations after the reform, and the preparation of a negotiation model for organisations to promote health and wellbeing.
Newsletter followed the progress of the health and social services reform
The Helsingin sote uudistuu newsletter discussed the City of Helsinki’s health and social services reform and its progress.
You can read more about health, social and rescue services in the Stadin sote ja brankkari newsletter.